West Coast Nut - January 2020

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WEST COAST NUT JANUARY 2020 ISSUE

SPOTLIGHT:

Making the Best Use of Irrigation Management Tools SEE PAGE 26

IN THIS ISSUE:

BeeWhere: California’s Hive Location Program SEE PAGE 20

Power Outages Impact Growers SEE PAGE 38

Planning Your Preemergent Program for 2020 SEE PAGE 58

January 10, 2020 at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds See pages 44-45 for more information

January 21, 2020 at the Glenn County Fairgrounds See pages 74-75 for more information

PUBLICATION


FORTIFIED THAT’S HOW ALMONDS FEEL WITH MOVENTO.®

Movento® insecticide is the only foliar application with downward movement within the tree to protect roots by suppressing nematodes. With Movento, trees will show improved vigor and produce high yields year after year. For more information, contact your retailer or Bayer representative or visit www.Movento.us. © 2019 Bayer Group. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross, and Movento are registered trademarks of the Bayer Group. Not all products are registered for use in all states. For additional product information, call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.CropScience.Bayer.us. Bayer CropScience LP, 800 North Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63167. CR0319MOVENTB045S00R0


By the Industry, For the Industry

IN THIS ISSUE

Publisher: Jason Scott Email: jason@jcsmarketinginc.com Managing Editor: Kathy Coatney Email: kathy@jcsmarketinginc.com Editor: Cecilia Parsons Email: cecilia@jcsmarketinginc.com Production: design@jcsmarketinginc.com Tel: 559.352.4456 Fax: 559.472.3113 Web: www.wcngg.com

Contributing Writers & Industry Support Almond Board of California Contributing Writer American Pecan Council Contributing Writer Wes Asai Pomology Consulting, Turlock, California

Roger Isom President/CEO, Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), Contributing Writer Julie R. Johnson Contributing Writer Rich Kreps CCA, Contributing Writer

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2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations

14   18

Does Late Winter Shaking Reduce Yield Potential in Almonds?

20   22   26   30   32

BeeWhere: California’s Hive Location Program

Emily J. Symmes, PhD Sacramento Valley Area IPM Advisor

38   40   46   48   50   54   58   64   68   72   76

The articles, research, industry updates, company profiles, and advertisements in this publication are the professional opinions of writers and advertisers. West Coast Nut does not assume any responsibility for the opinions given in the publication.

80   82

California Walnut Board Contributing Writer Brittney Goodrich Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC, Davis Hazelnut Marketing Board Contributing Writer Jenny Holtermann Contributing Writer

Crystal Nay Contributing Writer Emily Rooney President, Agricultural Council of California Amy Wolfe MPPA, CFRE, President and CEO, AgSafe

UC Cooperative Extension Advisory Board Elizabeth Fichtner UCCE Farm Advisor, Tulare County Franz Niederholzer UCCE Farm Advisor, Colusa/Sutter/Yuba Counties

Grower Checklist: 5 Topics to Discuss with Your Beekeeper Before Bloom What We Know About Winter Chill and Pistachios Making the Best Use of Irrigation Management Tools SGMA Survival What You Need to Know Understanding Almond Disease Vectors and Recognizing Disease Symptoms Power Outages Impact Growers Winter Leaching Advisor Profile: Mohammad Yaghour Advisor Profile: Phoebe Gordon Microbials—Do They Fit Your Farm? Walnuts and Crown Gall: What It Is and How to Manage Planning Your Preemergent Program for 2020 Tractor Incentive Funding—Where are We Now? Tools for Successfully Wrapping Up the Season California Walnut Board Pursuing Credit-Back Authority Captivating America’s Cooks with the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie Goodbye Six Steps for Successful Hazelnut Orchard Winter Management

View our ePublication on the web at www.wcngg.com

2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations According to the 2019 California Almond Objective Measurement Report, there were 1.17 million bearing acres of almonds in 2019. This brought in roughly 1.86 million colonies into California. This was down from shipments in 2018, which were 1.93 million. See full article on page 4

January 2020

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2020 ALMOND POLLINATION MARKET:

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

By BRITTNEY GOODRICH | Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC, Davis

T

he following article summarizes my outlook for the 2020 almond pollination season in terms of estimated demand for colonies, pollination fees, and other information I believe almond growers will find useful. Where possible, information is based on research and data, however some of the outlook comes from my best educated guess given the information available. In 2020, approximately 1.2 million bearing acres of almonds will require roughly 2.4 million colonies for pollination services.

2019 Almond Pollination Market

According to the 2019 California Almond Objective Measurement Report, there were 1.17 million bearing acres of almonds in 2019. This brought in roughly 1.86 million colonies into California. This was down from shipments in 2018, which were 1.93 million. Abnormally wet and cold weather in the Central Valley made pollination services challenging in 2019. Nut set per tree was down 18 percent from 2018, and total yield in pounds per acre is projected at 1,880, down 10 percent from 2019 (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), 2019). Not all of this was due to poor pollination, growers also experienced less than ideal weather conditions throughout the rest of the growing season.

Almond Returns and Acreage Trends

As of October 15, 2019, almond prices were between $2.63 to $2.98 per pound depending on the variety. Prices have remained fairly steady in this range since 2016 (Champetier, Lee, and Sumner, 2019). Almond returns per acre have also remained fairly steady since 2016, though these returns seem

small when compared with the 20132015 time period with almond prices well above $3 per pound. Figure 1 displays trends in planted almond acreage since 2007. Since 2015, Nonpareil and other varieties have seen planted acreage decreasing. This slow in planted acreage corresponds with those decreasing almond prices. Additional concerns about available water going forward has likely contributed to this slowing in planted acreage. Pollination expenses as a percentage of operating costs have increased from 6.7 percent in 1998 to 20 percent in 2016 (Champetier, Lee, and Sumner,

Figure 1: Planted Almond Acreage by Year, 2007-2018 Source: 2018 Almond Acreage Report, USDA NASS and CDFA

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Figure 3: 2018 Planted Almond Acreage as a Percentage of Bearing Acreage. Source: 2018 Almond Acreage Report, USDA NASS and CDFA

Figure 2: 2018 Planted Almond Acreage Source: 2018 Almond Acreage Report, USDA NASS and CDFA

Continued from Page 4 2019). Consequently, there has been a lot of discussion in recent years about self-compatible almond varieties (Independence and Shasta) as a way to alleviate some of the pollination expenses. Figure 1(see page 4) shows the significant increase in self-compatible planted acreage from 2013-2016, however planted acreage has leveled off and decreased since 2016. This is likely

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due to a combination of lower almond returns in general, coupled with the Independence variety not receiving expected premiums in comparison to other varieties (Champetier, Lee, and Sumner, 2019). Figure 2 shows planted acreage in 2018 by county in California. As expected, counties in the San Joaquin Valley have the highest amount of planted acreage. Figure 3 depicts similar information, but reflects 2018 planted acreage as a percentage of the total bearing acreage in each county. When controlling for the total License No. 251698 amount of bearing acreage, percentage increases are distributed fairly evenly throughout the state. With the exception of Contra Costa and Sacramento counties in Northern California, increases as a percentage of bearing acreage by county range from 0.2 percent to 6.5 percent of total bearing acreage. Contra Costa P. 209-599-2148 and Sacramento sales@riponmfgco.com www.riponmfgco.com

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counties each saw increases over 40 percent, but combine for a total planted acreage of 217 acres in 2018.

Colony Demand and Shipments into California

Figure 4(see page 8) plots the estimated demand for colonies based on bearing almond acreage each year, compared with total colony shipments into California. Estimated demand is calculated using 2 colonies per acre for traditional varieties and 1 colony per acre for self-compatible varieties. There is consistently a gap between estimated demand and colony shipments, which is filled by colonies that remain in California year-round. Overall, total colony shipments into California went down by approximately 4 percent between 2018 and 2019 almond bloom. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) colony loss survey in 2018/2019 found the nation’s highest average winter mortality rate (37.7 percent) recorded since the survey began. This provides some explanation for the decrease in total shipments into California. Total estimated demand for colonies has continued increasing and is up to 2.37 million colonies in 2020, so I do not see this decreasing trend in shipments continuing into 2020. Idaho, North Dakota and Florida remained the top three states shipping colonies into California (Figure 5, see page 10). As discussed by Hitaj, Smith and Hunt (2018), many honey bee colonies are transferred from the Northern


Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest after honey production is finished to be stored until almonds bloom in California. So, even though Idaho looks like the top shipping state according to the CDFA border shipment data, many of those colonies in reality are coming from elsewhere. The shipment of colonies to storage in the Pacific Northwest is a trend that looks to continue into the future. Many beekeepers have seen lower mortality rates from storing colonies indoors over the winter. Table 1(see page 11) displays the numbers of honey bee colony shipments from the top 10 states shipping colonies into California for the 2019 bloom, and the percentage change from 2018 shipments. Florida and Texas saw large decreases in the number of colonies shipped for almond bloom. This was fairly surprising, given that prior to 2019 almond bloom, Florida and Texas had seen some of the largest increases in colony shipments to almonds

(Goodrich, Williams, and Goodhue, 2019). According to the BIP, Texas beekeepers experienced losses of 46 percent, suggesting at least part of the decrease in colonies shipped from Texas can be attributed to high winter losses. Florida beekeepers saw losses below the national average (17.6 percent) suggesting decreases were from something other than colony losses alone. Perhaps Florida (and possibly some Texas) beekeepers who participated in 2017 and/or 2018 almond pollination may have decided the costs participating in almond pollination were not worth the returns.

Almond Pollination Fees

Table 2(see page 12) shows minimum and maximum reported almond pollination fees, and average almond pollination fees for the California State Beekeeper’s Association (CSBA) pollination fee survey for years 2017-2019. (Note: the 2019 results

should be viewed as preliminary.) According to the CSBA survey, average almond pollination fees have gone up around $5 per colony per year since 2017. The range in fees seems to have grown over time, in 2019 there is more than a $60 difference per colony between the lowest and highest fee reported. From talking with others in the industry, the average fee of $195 in 2019 may be on the lower side. Fees for a majority of colonies likely ranged from $200 to $220 per colony in 2019. The range in fees reported is likely due to differences in colony strength requirements. In a 2015 survey of almond growers, I found a 5.7 percent premium paid for colonies contracted above the industry standard (Goodrich and Goodhue, 2016). If we assume the 2019 CSBA average corresponds to an average fee for an 8-frame colony, that means a higher than industry standard

Continued on Page 8

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Figure 4: Estimated Demand for Colonies and Colony Shipments into California, Almond Pollination Seasons 2008-2020 Sources: 2008-2018 Almond Acreage Reports, USDA NASS and CDFA; Apiary Shipments through California Border Protection Stations, CDFA Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services

Continued from Page 7 colony would have rented for on average $206 in 2019. CSBA asks their beekeepers about projected fees for the upcoming pollination season. Many beekeepers will have already made some of their contractual arrangements in advance by the time they respond to the survey, so these projections are fairly reliable. The

average projected fee per colony for the 2020 pollination season is $204. Again, if we factor in the 5.7 percent premium, that means a projected average of $216 per colony for those contracted above the industry standard of 8 frames.

Supply Issues for 2020 Almond Bloom

Given that most of the colonies in

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the U.S. already participate in almond pollination, it is important to think about where additional colonies will come from for the 2020 pollination season. In a research article, co-authors and I thoroughly explore this issue, in short, we expect Florida, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana to supply a large amount of increased almond pollination going forward (Goodrich, Williams and Goodhue, 2019). Clearly, as seen in Table 1(see page 11), Florida and Texas saw decreases in their supplies of colonies between 2018 and 2019. This suggests fees may have to increase even further to get sustained participation from beekeepers in these areas. One issue that I foresee as a potential problem this year is the drought that has been occurring in parts of the south this fall. From September through the week of November 5, 2019, Georgia and Texas have been experiencing at least a moderate drought over 58 percent and 48 percent of each state, respectively (National Drought Mitigation Center, 2019). Florida and Louisiana have seen smaller, but still significant averages of 18 percent and 13 percent of the total area in each state experiencing at least moderate drought. These are states that beekeepers often place colonies in after honey flow in the Northern Great Plains (Hitaj, Smith and Hunt, 2018). The southern climate usually facilitates at least some pollen and nectar flow during the fall months. This year, southern beekeepers likely had to provide

Continued on Page 10


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Figure 5: Colonies shipped into California by State for 2019 Almond Pollination Source: Apiary Shipments through California Border Protection Stations, CDFA Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services

Continued from Page 8 more food supplements than usual. This has the potential to impact the overall health of colonies coming out of these southern states. Another factor that may have an indirect impact on the market for almond pollination services this year and in the years to come is the decreasing trend in honey prices. Commercial beekeeping operations operate on fairly small margins, so even small decreases in the honey price may have a substantial impact on the economic sustainability of these operations. Smaller honey profits (or in some cases losses) places more importance on almond pollination income for beekeepers to stay in business. Almond growers may want to check in with their beekeepers to make sure they have adequate cash

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flow to make the trek to California this year. Paying a percentage of the total pollination expense up front may ease some of the beekeeper’s cash flow issues, while providing additional benefits to the almond grower. The almond grower may ask for a discounted pollination fee for making the down-payment, in addition to having added security that the beekeeper will make it to their almond orchards with the contracted colonies.

Hive Density, Colony Strength and Crop Insurance Requirements

I wanted to touch on the relationship between colony strength, hive density and crop insurance requirements because I personally have heard a lot of conflicting information regarding crop insurance requirements. Beginning in 2013, USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and the Federal Crop Insurance

January 2020

Corporation (FCIC) began allowing for substitution between colony strength and hives per acre in their almond crop insurance policy. The current policy document states as a guideline a producer should have at minimum two colonies with six active frames, or its equivalent (USDA RMA and FCIC, 2018). Technically, that means one 12-frame colony per acre or 1.5 8-frame colonies per acre would satisfy this requirement. Almond growers can even deviate from this standard as long as they have consistently been using the same number of hives per acre and colony strength requirements and have had consecutive non-loss years. (This flexibility in the policy allows growers to capitalize on benefits from self-fertile varieties that require fewer colonies per acre.) Many almond growers are looking


for ways to cut pollination costs given they have increased so much over the last decade. Typically, growers look at the per-colony fee as what needs to be lowered. In my opinion, this is not a good place to cut costs given the uncertainty in the supply of honey bee colonies. By trying to get the lowest fee possible, growers often end up with an unreliable beekeeper or colonies with very low strength. There are some ways to get lower fees, as I discussed previously negotiating with your beekeeper to pay a portion up front for a lower fee is one option. Providing bee holding yards for before bloom, locked gates in orchards, or some other benefit to the beekeeper/pollination broker may also get you a lower fee, though I would not count on substantial cuts. In my opinion, a much better place to cut costs is by slightly adjusting colonies per acre. For example, if you have a 300 acre almond orchard which you typically stock with 2 colonies per acre, adjusting that down slightly to 1.8 colonies per acre can save you around

Colonies Shipped for 2019 State Almond Bloom Idaho 360,127 North Dakota 277,961 Florida 156,432 Oregon 145,483 Washington 141,234 Montana 127,373 South Dakota 118,809 Texas 105,497 Minnesota 77,527 Utah 38,737 Net change for top 10 states

Percent Change from 2018 Shipments 6% 4% -27% -3% 1% 3% 9% -22% 2% 14% -2%

Table 1: Colonies shipped into California by State for 2019 Almond Pollination Source: Apiary Shipments through California Border Protection Stations, CDFA Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services.

$12,000 on your pollination expenses (assuming a $200 fee-per colony). If you are contracting for 8-frame colonies (as many growers are) that puts you at over 14 frames per acre, still above the 12-frame requirement for crop insurance. Now, here is my cautionary statement: I am an economist and am

NOT a crop insurance agent, adjuster or almond farm advisor. So before substantially changing your hives per acre and/or colony strength requirements you should check with your farm advisors and crop insurance agent to

January 2020

Continued on Page 12

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Year 2017 2018 2019

Mininum Reported Average Maximum Reported $ 165 $ 184 $ 200 $ 165 $ 190 $ 210 $ 170 $ 195 $ 234

Table 2: California State Beekeeper’s Pollination Fee Survey-Almond Pollination Fee Results, Almond Pollination Seasons 2017-2019

Continued from Page 11 make sure it won’t cause any problems with yields or crop insurance payments. Unfortunately, there is not a “one size fits all” solution and a lot of these adjustments will have to be orchard specific.

Conclusions

I believe the memory of last year’s cold and wet almond bloom period will be weighing heavily on grower’s minds going into this season, as will lower per-acre yields in 2019. To me this means almond growers will want many strong colonies so waiting until the last minute to contract is probably

not a good strategy this year. Beekeeper profitability has become a struggle due to increased costs from colony health issues and low honey prices. Communicating with your beekeeper and paying them a fair price for their colonies will likely ensure a secure supply of pollination services in years to come. Best of luck in your almond pollination agreements, and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020!

References:

Champetier, A., H. Lee, and D.A. Sumner. 2019. "Are the

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Specializing In Integrated Pest Management Biological Control Soil and Tissue Testing Organic Consulting Robert Weaver 559-977-2563

West Coast Nut

Goodrich, B., and R.E. Goodhue. 2016. “Honey Bee Colony Strength in the California Almond Pollination Market.” ARE Update 19: 5–8. Hitaj, Claudia, David J. Smith, and Kevin A. Hunt. "Pollination services: Honeybee movements across the US and the impact of travel on honeybee health." 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, DC. No. 273783. Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, 2018. USDA NASS and CDFA. 2019. “2019 California Almond Objective Measurement Report.” Available online: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_ by_State/California/Publications/ Specialty_and_Other_Releases/Almond/ Objective-Measurement/201907almom.pdf USDA RMA and FCIC. 2018. “Almond Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook 2019 and Succeeding Crop Years.” FCIC25020 (10-2018). Available online: https://www.rma.usda.gov/-/ media/RMAweb/Handbooks/LossAdjustment-Standards---25000/ Almonds/2019-25020-Almond-LossAdjustment.ashx The National Drought Mitigation Center. 2019. United States Drought Monitor. Percent Area in U.S. Drought Monitor Categories. Available online: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Data/ DataTables.aspx

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Almond and Beekeeping Industries Gaining Independence?" Choices. Quarter 4. Available online: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/ choices-magazine/theme-articles/pollination-service-markets-evolution-and-outlook/ are-the-almond-and-beekeeping-industries-gaining-independence Goodrich, B.K., J.C. Williams, and R.E. Goodhue. 2019. “The Great Bee Migration: Supply Analysis of Honey Bee Colony Shipments into California for Almond Pollination Services.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 101: 1353–1372.

January 2020

Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


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DOES LATE WINTER SHAKING REDUCE YIELD POTENTIAL IN ALMONDS? By WES ASAI | Pomology Consulting, Turlock, California

All photos courtesy of Wes Asai.

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L

ast year I conducted a research trial in almonds to address a recurring question posed by many growers. Does late shaking of almonds for winter sanitation of mummy nuts reduce the yield potential due to the removal of many of the swelling buds? The 2018 replicated trial in two different orchards indicated it did not. This trial was repeated at two additional sites in 2019 to see if the results could be duplicated.

Winter Shaking

Winter shaking of overwintering mummy nuts is the single most important cultural activity an almond grower can do to reduce surviving populations of navel orangeworm (NOW). By eliminating these nuts, the larvae and pupae in them are destroyed. These nuts also would have served as a food source for the first and second generation of NOW during the upcoming growing season.

Continued on Page 16

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Continued from Page 15 While there are many reasons cited why growers do not winter sanitize their orchards, one valid concern was buds dropping when shaking close to bloom. Research by former University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor G.S. Sibbett et.al. in the early 1980’s demonstrated no detrimental effects from late-January shaking, even though some bud drop was occurring at that time. They concluded that almonds could be safely shaken up to the end of January with no detrimental effect on the current years’ cropping potential.

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In the recent experiments conducted in 2018 and 2019, the trials were set up at two locations in Turlock, California. One was a young bearing block and the other was a mature bearing block. They were set up as a Randomized Complete Block design with three shaking dates at each site. In the 2019 study, the dormant shake date was December 1, 2018. The two “late-shake” dates were February 6, 2019 and February 11, 2019.


Shake Date: 2/6/19 Rep 1 Rep 2 Rep 3 Rep 4 Rep 5

Mean

Shake Date: 2/11/19

Total Buds 5474 6006 4469 9727 8242

Rep 1 Rep 2 Rep 3 Rep 4 Rep 5

6784

Mean

The younger block was harvested on August 24, 2019 and the older block on August 30, 2019 (maturity was late in 2019). Just to humor myself, a couple “sacrificial trees” were winter shaken on February 18th to see how many buds would be removed at that late date (which would never be recommended due to the blossoms already opening at that timing.) The trees at the mature tree site were tarped and shaken. Buds were collected and counted at both late-shake dates. As expected, the later the shake date, the greater the number of buds removed. On the February 6 date, an average of 6,784 buds per tree were removed. On the February 11 shake date an average of 9,626 buds per tree were removed. Just FYI, the “sacrificial” trees shaken on February 18th averaged 17,048 buds removed. A typical, mature bearing Nonpareil tree on a 22x15 foot spacing averages 3,000 pounds per acre and has about 38,000 blossoms. Those late trees almost lost 50 percent of their buds. Shaking at that late timing would obviously not be advised.

Results

Total Buds 6854 9703 9905 12566 9102

In both 2018 and 2019, there were no significant yield differences between the later February shake dates compared to the dormant shake dates. This is consistent with the Sibbett results. Even with significant bud drop counts in February, three of the four trials actually had numerically higher yields. While this may not indicate that yields can be increased by bud thinning, it does show that there is not a negative impact from this level of bud drop. Ideally, a grower would have completed their winter shaking prior to February, and this discussion would

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not be necessary. That would be the preferred timing. Also, depending on winter chill hour accumulations, bloom may be earlier in some years versus others. However, this does demonstrate that if favorable shaking conditions (rain and fog/dew) do not occur until later in dormancy, there is still an opportunity to shake mummy nuts with some bud drop and not negatively affect yields. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

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All photos are courtesy of the Almond Board of California.

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January 2020


A WORD FROM THE BOARD: THE ALMOND BOARD OF CALIFORNIA

GROWER CHECKLIST

I

5 TOPICS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR BEEKEEPER BEFORE BLOOM

n the midst of dormancy and with winter sanitation in full swing, growers are looking ahead to next year and strategizing how to best produce a healthy, bountiful crop. Their strategy should include removing mummy nuts from the orchard and irrigating trees that became water stressed during harvest, two practices that will not only generate greater yields but also increase the long-term health of an orchard. In addition to mummy shaking and irrigating, however, growers need to look even further down the road to ensure they’re prepared for what’s arguably the second-busiest time of year—almond pollination. As a grower, being organized before bloom sets you up for success—and less stress—during pollination. It also ensures that honey bee health is maintained to the upmost throughout growers’ coordination with beekeepers, pest control advisors (PCAs), applicators and county ag commissioners. Clear communication ahead of pollination ultimately helps to avoid unnecessary confusion and rushed decisions during the hectic season. At this point in time, growers are highly encouraged to—if they haven’t already—nail down key pollination details with their beekeepers. To help define those key details and ensure all the bases are covered, here’s a checklist of five items you should discuss with your beekeeper to ensure you’re both on the same page:

1. Confirm key points in your contract/agreement, including arrival date and location, frame counts, pesticide use during bloom, payment terms, hive removal timing and more. Consider outlining a pesticide plan that specifies which pest control materials you may use during bloom, as you and your beekeeper should agree on which products can be applied if a

treatment is necessary.

b. landings such as burlap or screens should be placed over water containers to make the water accessible and prevent bee drowning, and

a. While contracts should be created and signed at this point, growers still in need of bees may access a sample template of an almond pollination contract/ agreement at ProjectApism.org. b. If you plant supplemental forage in or near your orchard, consider speaking with your beekeeper about a discount on your contract. 2. Ask your beekeeper if he/she plans to register their hives through the BeeWhere program. Beekeepers are legally required to register their hives by January 1 or upon arrival in California. While they can do so through their local county ag commissioner, the BeeWhere program provides a real-time GIS mapping system that allows beekeepers to mark hive locations with a simple pin drop on a map. And, new this year, BeeWhere’s new mobile app— BeeCheck—makes tracking and updating hive locations even easier. More information on BeeWhere may found at BeeWhereCalifornia. com. 3. Decide who will provide potable water for the bees in or near the orchard. To ensure optimum bee health, you and your beekeeper should work together to ensure that bees have access to potable drinking water throughout bloom. This will ensure that bees spend more time pollinating the crop than searching for water, and it also safeguards against bees using water that is contaminated with pesticides. Between you and your beekeeper… a. the water should be checked and replenished throughout the bees’ time in the orchard,

c. water sources should be covered or removed before a pest control treatment, or clean water should be provided after a treatment is made. 4. Ask your beekeeper how they plan to mark their colonies. Marking each colony with contact information allows you and you PCA to quickly identify the hive owner, especially in instances when a bloom spray is absolutely necessary, and bees need to be removed from an orchard. 5. Confirm you have correct contact information so you can quickly notify your beekeeper at least 48 hours in advance of any necessary pesticide applications by you, your PCA or your applicator. This advance warning is legally required for pesticide products with "toxic to bees" label statements and recommended for all other applications, particularly during almond bloom. For additional detail on bloom preparation, honey bee health and more, visit Almonds.com/Pollination. And, if you’re interested in learning more about how to maintain bee health as well as the opportunities that come with planting bee forage, you’re invited to attend one of the Almond Board’s California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) in the Orchard workshops to hear from experts on these topics and more. Visit Almonds.com/Events to view workshop dates, locations and more. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

January 2020

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BEEWHERE: CALIFORNIA’S HIVE LOCATION PROGRAM By CRYSTAL NAY | Contributing Writer

T

here’s no disputing the value bees hold in food production. This is why California has launched BeeWhere, an online tool to help improve communication among growers, pesticide applicators, beekeepers, and other agricultural personnel in order to safeguard hives that are out in the field. “[We] hope BeeWhere will accomplish the notification of all beekeepers when a product will be sprayed in the environment that could be potentially detrimental to the honey bees,” says Karine Pouliquen, M.A., Head Beekeeper under the Orange County Master Gardener Program located at the University of California South Coast Research and Extension Center. That’s exactly what the program is setting out to do.

What Is It?

BeeWhere is an online method of tracking the locations of hives across California that uses real-time GIS mapping. At any given time, a county can know how many registered hives are within its boundaries. It also allows for pesticide applicators to know if there are hives within a one-mile radius of a pesticide application and to whom

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they belong. Seasons like almond bloom kick off a very active bee season, with many colonies brought in from other states, and beekeepers can mark hive locations by using a pin drop in the mobile app. This initiative is collaboratively supported by the Almond Board of California, California State Beekeepers Association, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and a number of other companies and organizations.

How It Works: Beekeepers

Beekeepers have to create a BeeWhere user account and are required to register their hives in the state of California, whether they are from California or out-of-state beekeepers that provide bees during specific seasons. There is an annual $10 registration fee per beekeeper, regardless of the number of hives, and as of this writing must be done in-person through the local county agricultural commissioner’s office of the home county in which the bees are placed. (Online payment options will become available in the future.) Other counties can also be selected if beekeepers are working across multiple counties. The home county will validate the additional county selections. From there, beekeepers will provide contact information and select their preferred methods of notification, be it by phone, email, or fax, along with preferred contact times. Because the program

January 2020

understands the importance of privacy amongst beekeepers, registered hive locations are kept securely within the California Agricultural Commissioner’s CalAgPermits system. Beekeepers can update hive locations if hives are moved, as well as number of hives in a colony. This lets applicators and PCAs know that there are bees in the area, and that they need to submit a bee clearance to the county. Only pesticide applicators are able to see the contact information for beekeepers. Each individual county can only see the hives that are pinned in that specific county. Beekeepers cannot see the locations of other beekeepers’ hive locations. Pest control advisors (PCA) and others with access to the system are only able to see if there are bees within a one-mile radius of a particular site.

How It Works: Pesticide Applicators

Much like beekeepers, pesticide applicators will have to register a new BeeWhere account, unless they have a CalAg permit, as CalAg permit logins can be used to access BeeWhere. The home county will validate this information. Applicators can use an interactive map, and are provided the most information on the site, including the total number of colonies in the one-mile radius, the beekeeper’s name, business name, contact information, the number of colonies per individual beekeeper in that designated mile, and the methods in which the beekeepers wish to be notified. Even when applicators submit their bee clearances, they must still notify beekeepers as per notification instructions supplied by the beekeeper.


How It Works: PCAs, Pest Control Businesses, and Other Third Parties

Much like above, CalAg permit login information will grant access to BeeWhere, as will signing up for a new user account. Proper validation will allow access to the website, but the information available to PCAs and other pest control-related parties will be much more limited. For one, beekeeper contact information will be unavailable. The interactive map is also available for these parties, however, it will only disclose the number of colonies within a one-mile radius of an application site.

The Return of Statewide Identification

Unfortunately, there has been an increase in bee theft. Less identifiable frames have become a target for thieves. “It’s very sad to see this kind of behavior happening,” says Pouliquen. “It jeopardizes people’s livelihoods.” In an attempt to protect livelihoods, property, and curb theft, California is urging beekeepers to get their state-issued beekeeper identification number, and to permanently mark all hives, frames, and other identifiable tools and materials. (This is also recommended for growers and their equipment.)

of an area at the declaration of petal fall, thus causing applicators to delay spraying for fear of harming bees they can clearly see are still in an orchard. This has also happened for unregistered hives that also have no contact information listed anywhere on them. In these cases, notices will be posted on the hives themselves, and growers will be contacted to find out who owns the bees currently located on their property. Registering with BeeWhere can help to eliminate some of these problems. Following county and local beekeeping ordinances will also alleviate any potential complications with growers. There are distance requirements from schools, residences, and other sensitive areas, as well as rights of way. Some counties, like Tulare County, for example, have inspectors with assigned sections of the county, who make sure the hives are in the correct locations and meeting proper criteria.

What BeeWhere Does Not Do

Probably the most significant thing BeeWhere does not do is notify beekeepers on behalf of applicators. Even though applicators can see how many colonies are in an area and the names and contact information for the beekeepers with hives there, applicators themselves will have to contact each beekeeper to notify them of planned pesticide usage. Depending on what the beekeeper has set for preferred contact methods, this could be as involved as getting someone on the telephone, or as simple as sending an email. Requesting bee clearances and filing required paperwork is not enough without properly notifying beekeepers. For more information, visit BeeWhereCalifornia.com.

Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

Being a Good Neighbor

Some beekeepers are happy that BeeWhere is being put into place. “It could prevent a lot of bees’ deaths associated with spraying,” says Pouliquen. Other beekeepers, however, prefer more anonymity. “Especially hobbyists, for some reason they don’t want to disclose where their hives are located.” Additionally, the combination of a new program, alongside new technology, can be exciting for some industry professionals, but intimidating for others. But growers, applicators, and beekeepers must work together for this system to work effectively and successfully for all parties involved. There have been complaints against aerial applicators who submitted bee clearances, but never actually notified beekeepers, and exposed hives to extremely toxic pesticides. There have also been complaints against beekeepers for not moving out

January 2020

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WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT

WINTER CHILL AND PISTACHIOS By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

E

ighty-degree days in the month of November did not send California pistachio trees into their winter rest period on schedule. With harvest at an end and irrigations done to fill soil profile, the trees were primed to enter their needed dormant stage, but warm days and barely cold nights are not conducive to sending pistachio trees into dormancy. (Editor’s note: the end of the month brought some welcome cold to pistachio growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley. How the remainder of the dormant season plays out is yet to be seen.)

Industry Research

These young pistachio trees in southeastern Tulare County are ready for winter rest. November brought cooler and wet weather, but few hours below 32 degrees F. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Parsons.

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Industry research has determined a lack of sufficient hours below 45 degrees F affects the nut crop that develops in the spring. There can be poor fruit bud development, delayed or strung out bloom and poor overlap with pollinators. The ability to set a crop can be affected as well as maturity timing resulting in need for multiple harvests. “We know these trees have a winter rest requirement,” said Craig Kallsen, Kern County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor. How to measure the weather conditions that send and keep the trees at rest is still being debated. Measurements don’t always match what we see in valley pistachio orchards, Kallsen said. Other factors including alternate bearing, nutritional status of trees, pest and disease pressures can exacerbate trees’ response to lack of winter rest.

November Through February

If the period from November through February has a lot of days and nights

January 2020

with below 45 degree F temperatures and few spikes above 65, pistachio growers can probably rest easy, Kallsen said. On the other hand, if a few cold spells are interspersed with warm daytime temperatures, growers know that crop yields may be affected. Information about potential yields could be helpful to the pistachio industry to be more efficient with harvest and postharvest resources including labor, machinery, processing facility capacity, storage and marketing, Kallsen noted in an article published in HortScience.

University Research

Research done by Dr. Julian Crane, Dr. Louise Ferguson and UCCE farm advisor emeritus Bob Beede found that the Kerman variety requires 750 hours below 45 degrees F and Peters requires 850 hours to leaf out and bloom uniformly in the spring. How to calculate the amount of time the trees are at winter rest and correlating that to yields is not an exact science. Researchers are still looking at ways to help pistachio trees overcome a lack of winter chill. Kallsen’s study aimed to identify air temperature thresholds and time periods to more accurately predict pistachio crop yields. His report, the study of temperature related variables associated with yields in the Kerman variety in the San Joaquin Valley, found that the previous year’s harvest, hourly air temperature accumulations above 26.7 or 29.4

Continued on Page 24


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Mummy nuts on the orchard floor waiting for a sanitation pass. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Parsons.

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Continued from Page 22 degrees C from March 20 to April 25, hourly air temperature accumulations below 7.2 degrees C from November 15 to February 15 and hourly air temperature accumulations above 18.3 degrees C from November 15-February 15. Were the most valuable predictors of crop yields in pistachios.

Track and Record Winter Chill

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Is it critical that during the winter months pistachio growers keep track of the temperatures in their orchards, record data and calculate chill? Justin Nay, president and CEO of Integral Ag, and a certified crop and pest control advisor said calculating the amount of chill can help growers know what to expect at bloom, but the information is best used as a management tool. There is value in understanding how the tree can be affected by inadequate rest, Nay said. Gurreet Brar, Fresno State professor of pomology and the Roger B. Jensen Chair in Pistachio Physiology and Pomology said he advises growers to


install a weather station at the orchard and monitor chill accumulation over the winter. A late dormant oil spray is still the management strategy used in low chill years, he said. However, researchers are still studying how oil affects chill accumulation—if at all—and what is the physiology of chill accumulation and dormancy break. There are a number of tools available to calculate chill accumulation once you have hourly temperature data from your site, Brar said. With funding from the California Pistachio Research Board, he is looking at potential dormancy break agents other than oil, which could be used in a low chill year to have desirable effect on bloom and fruit set. Kitren Glazer, associate project scientist in the department of Plant Science at University of California (UC) Davis, notes that research to overcome lack of chill in pistachio has focused on the use of rest breaking agents to partially compensate for lack of chill accumulation and also how to measure chill accumulation under California’s climatic conditions. Glazer, in a paper on the Dynamic Model and Chill Accumulation, said that chill accumulation can be calculated with several different mathematical models with the ‘chill hours model’ being the most simple. Chill hours are the number of hours the orchard experiences 45 degrees F or less accumulated over the course of the dormant season. The issue with the chill hour model is that when winter temperatures are above 45 degrees F, there can be a cancelling effect and there is no way to measure the cancellation with the chill hour model.

Dynamic Model

Another model—the Dynamic Model calculates chilling accumulations as ‘portions’ using a range of temperatures and also accounts for chill cancellation due to warm temperatures. Comparing the two, the chill hours model varies from place to place and from year to year than the chill portions model. Research findings include identification of a certain range of chill portions

where the best response from application of rest breaking agents was found. The Dynamic Model, found at the UC ANR Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center web site, is in an Excel File and requires hourly data in metric form and consecutive dates and times. Data for the model can be obtained by installing data loggers in orchards, noting historically colder or warmer areas. Online data sources include

the UC Pestcast Weather Stations or CIMIS weather stations. Both can be found at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/ WEATHER/wxretrieve.html

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Making the Best Use of

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT TOOLS By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

D

ecisions about irrigation water management in tree nut crops can make or break a growing season. Effective water management, said University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Fresno County nut crops advisor Mae Culumber, should support high yield potential and favor desirable nut quality.

Effective Water Management

In her presentation at the South Valley Nut Conference, Culumber noted that effective water management can extend orchard life, assist in pest management, use water and energy efficiently, contribute to nitrogen management and mitigate salinity problems. Using irrigation management tools can

help growers achieve those goals. Irrigation water management is applying water according to crop needs in an amount that can be stored in the plant root zone of the soil. The most common questions about irrigation management in tree nut orchards include: ▶ When should irrigation begin? ▶ How frequently should irrigations occur? ▶ How long should irrigation systems be run?

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▶ When should irrigation end for the season? ▶ How should young, developing trees be irrigated? There are tools available to give growers and managers answers to these questions.

Water Budget

Culumber said having a water budget can help with irrigation decisions. A water budget is an accounting of water used by the crop and supplied to it. Culumber said the purpose of a

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January 2020


water budget is to maintain a balance between soil moisture depletion and applied water. Using current weather data for irrigation scheduling improves irrigation effectiveness compared to the less precise method of irrigating by calendar. A water budget is a method of estimating soil moisture depletion or anticipating crop water stress.

Evapotranspiration Rates

Monitoring evapotranspiration (ET) rates beginning at leaf out and keeping track during the growing season shows how much water trees need. The information can help avoid over watering or deficit. Culumber said monitoring could be conducted on a daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally or annual basis, but for precise irrigation management, weekly or more frequent monitoring is necessary. Rainfall can influence how much irrigation is needed to meet ET rates for tree crops in different growing regions. Culumber said in the north valley, rain supplies 22 percent of water needs, 16 percent in the central valley and only nine percent in the south. There are online resources for water budgets and coming next year will be available on the San Joaquin Valley Tree and Vine website. https:// www.sjvtandv. com/irrigation. The weekly report will provide information and advice on balancing a water budget. Other sites include http://www.waterright.net/WaterBalancetutorial. For a mobile irrigation scheduler, go to http:// weather.wsu.edu/is/. Crop manage for tree crops is https://v3.cropmanage. ucanr.edu/account/login. Other factors to consider in irrigation management are orchard density, age, and soil types. Estimating ET for young trees can be done by doubling the estimated percentage of canopy cover and multiplying by estimated ETc for a mature orchard. For example: a third leaf orchard covering 35 percent of the orchard floor will use 70 percent of the water that a mature orchard would use: ETc= (2.1 inches) (70 percent)= 1.47 inches.

requires knowing the irrigation system water application rate, and an estimation of ET for the crop. It also helps, she said, to know root zone and soil water storage, track in-season rainfall and know irrigation distribution uniformity. The ‘feel and appearance’ of soil is another irrigation scheduling method used to determine when to irrigate, amount and duration. How to judge soils response to irrigation can be found at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) site under

Estimating Soil Moisture. Knowing available water in relation to soil texture can help with water budgeting. Soil moisture depletion is the amount of water needed to raise the soil-water content of the crop root zone to field capacity. An example is fine sandy loam at field capacity= 1.3 inches/ feet times 5 rooting depth= 6.5 inches available water to tree. Allowable depletion (50 percent)= 3.25 inches.

Continued on Page 28

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Know the Irrigation System

Culumber said that water budgeting

January 2020

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Continued from Page 27 It is easy to over-irrigate and lose water to deep percolation below the root zone, Culumber said. In water management, the percentage of wetted area impacted by the irrigation system and the soil type needs to be considered.

Soil Moisture Depletion Method

Using the soil moisture depletion method can lead to improved decisions on irrigation frequency and duration. There are a number of tools available to help with those decisions, Culumber said. Soil moisture sensors coupled with radio telemetry can deliver continuous information and also deliver more detailed information than manual measurements. They are also useful for measuring effective rainfall during the dormant season. She noted that acquiring representative data could be a challenge due to orchard and soil variability, depth of profile to monitor, root distribution

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and density, and distribution of applied water. Small volumes of soil monitored can also be a challenge.

Pressure Chamber

A pressure chamber is another useful tool for irrigation scheduling. Midday stem water potential integrates and quantifies how an orchard is responding to soil, water and climatic conditions. It can help confirm data used with the soil moisture depletion method. There are tutorials on the web for using pressure chambers, Culumber said. Determining plant water status with this tool is a good way to evaluate irrigation timing and the effectiveness of irrigation scheduling to meet tree water demand. Midday stem water potential uniquely integrates and quantifies how an orchard is responding to soil, water and climatic conditions. Culumber said it can also confirm and adjust assumptions that are used with soil moisture depletion methods or when using a water budget.

January 2020

Limitations include frequent use of this tool in the orchard. Use can also be labor intensive and only limited acreage can be monitored in one day with one instrument. Use of the pressure chamber does encourage routine observation of the orchard. Culumber recommends a combination of at least two of soil, plant or ET monitoring to make informed and effective water management decisions. Factors in the decision include long and short-term production goals and motivation to invest in irrigation scheduling. Farm operation and conditions will affect the ability to adopt management tools.

Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


January 2020

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SGMA SURVIVAL

What You Need to Know By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

F

acts about the historical groundwater management mandate in the San Joaquin Valley were all part of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Survival Toolkit meetings hosted by American Pistachio Growers (APG). Richard Matoian, executive director of American Pistachio Growers said the goals with the workshops are to keep growers informed about SGMA, enactment dates, potential restrictions on pumping, and other important news so they can be better informed as its implementation moves forward.

SGMA Educational Workshops

SGMA will have an impact, and APG wants growers to understand how they will be affected .This is not the last of these types of workshops, Matoian said as this will be an ongoing educational process over the next several years, if not decades, as the various SGMA implementation dates take effect. Even though groundwater management plans for targeted sub basins are required by January 2020, Don Wright, meeting moderator said groundwater sustainability agencies would be collecting data to fill in the unknowns about groundwater supplies. “Don’t panic,” said Scott Hamilton of Hamilton Resource Economics. Hamilton, a panelist and former board president of Cawelo • Douglas Fir Treated Tree Stakes • Wide variety of sizes Irrigation • Economical Douglas fir District, said • Individually graded for high quality although • Lodgepoles groundwater • For areas requiring extra staking • Standard sizes from 2" - 3" sustainability • Post & Rail Fencing plans were • Bamboo stakes required to be complete by 2020, their acceptance by the state does not mean there We’re Not Just Stakes Anymore will be immediate restrictions New product lines, same on groundwaold commitment ter pumping. to service... POLY FILM SOIL SHADE CLOTH How quickly pumping is restricted, Hamilton said, Scott Goldsmith: Visit us online at depends on the (702) 568-2020 sullivanandmann.com groundwater sustainability

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January 2020

agency (GSA) and water district where an irrigation well is located. “Nothing says you have to cut back now,” Hamilton said. “SGMA requires a plan for sustainable groundwater pumping.” The plans submitted by GSAs require that six undesirable results are avoided by groundwater pumping. They include chronic lowering of groundwater levels, significant and unreasonable reduction in groundwater storage, significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion, significant and unreasonable degraded water quality, significant and unreasonable land subsidence and depletions of interconnected surface water that have significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses of surface water. Occurrence of any of the six sustainability indicators constitutes an undesirable result.

Lack of Data

Michael Hagman, executive director of East Kaweah GSA, acknowledged that changes will come for agriculture due to the volume of groundwater overdraft. The role of SGMA, he said, will be to minimize the effects of reduced groundwater pumping and how to allocate the supply to landowners. The ‘big unknown’ in the process is how much water is in the ground, Hagman said. The lack of data will be a challenge for planning an allocation said Lauren Layne, a partner in the Fresno law firm Baker, Manock and Jensen. Groundwater sustainability plans are required to estimate a sustainable yield, but data is needed to determine the numbers. Layne said the current data is historical and yield models based on those numbers are at this time ‘the best they can do.” We know we are in a state of


overdraft, Layne said, but don’t know explained by Joseph Villegas of Drought Species Act as well as biological opinthe level. Groundwater Sustainability Diet Products. The design of the pipe ions means the outflows during winter Plans are doing the monitoring to allows water delivery at the root zone, months flow into the ocean. capture data and working toward keeping the top six inches of the soil dry. The Blueprint plan is looking at a more reliable numbers to base yields. The pipe shape prevents deep percoladifferent type of ‘fish-friendly’ diversion Agencies have another 20 years to tion of irrigation water, Villegas said. in the Delta. Tile drains are not new achieve a balance. Planning for the future of the San technology, Hamilton said, but instalIn the meantime, Layne said, GSAs Joaquin Valley will require collaboralation in key areas of the Delta during are working on land-based assessments tion between state and federal leaders could allow more water to be channeled to operate. Monitoring equipment and and stakeholders, said Fresno-based back to the Valley for irrigation. wells are huge costs for agencies and water attorney Austin Ewell. He urged What is done with the water moving since SGMA is an unfunded mandate, participation in the San Joaquin Valley into the canals is still ‘very conceplandowners must bear the costs. Water Blueprint which is designed to tual’ Hamilton said. Canals would These agencies may need to impleserve as Governor Gavin Newsom’s be necessary to move the water to ment Proposition 218, to impose fees, Californian Water Resiliency Plan. Role recharge pumps. Layne said. This Proposition, passed in of the collaborative effort, Ewell said, is “There needs to be a lot more people 1996 requires an election by landowners. to plan for what the Valley will look like involved in this. It can’t just be a few Lacking an adequate plan and assessin the future. in D.C. but all communities need to be ment, the state has the right to come in Capturing more flood water and part of the solution.” Get engaged and and charge whatever fee they want and using recharge basins will be part of get involved, Hamilton told growers. landowners have no say. the answer to the Valley’s groundwater “There is a lot a stake-one million acres overdraft, said panelist Scott Hamilton. in the Valley.” Funding However with a projected 2.5 million Funding for agency work is availacre foot total overdraft, another source able from state Department of Water of water will be critical. That water can Comments about this article? We want Resources where it applies to monitorbe found the Delta, Hamilton said, but to hear from you. Feel free to email us at ing wells, drinking water supplies and restricted pumping due to Endangered article@jcsmarketinginc.com water quality. By 2040, Layne said there should be better information about groundwater supplies and costs and then talk of water trading can begin. There won’t be trading in the next five years, she said. A second panel of speakers laid out ways to improve irrigation well and water delivery efficiency, and to manage energy costs. Services include acid washing well casings to maintain groundwater levels, well rehabilitation improved irrigation system design. Older systems are less efficient said Kiel Taylor of Landmark Irrigation and the reduction in performance can result in higher operating costs. Greg Allen, vice president of Red Trac, a Bakersfield company that specializes in pump efficiency, had a different take on SGMA- noting it also Walnut Almond Cashew Hazelnut Pistachio Pecans Peanuts stands for “Survival Guide to Managing Assets.” Red Trac specializes in well efficiency, irrigation system water quality and management. Allen said Shell fragments Insects Glass fragments Metal Rubber Wood that knowing operating efficiency of all systems and having the data on usage would assist with managing assets. An innovative irrigation system www.insort-inc.com that features unique ‘Aquifer pipe” was

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UNDERSTANDING ALMOND DISEASE VECTORS

AND RECOGNIZING DISEASE SYMPTOMS By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

Almond calico and infectious bud failure are viral diseases that are easier to identify during cool, wet springs. All photos courtesy of Jack Kelly Clark, courtesy of University of California Statewide IPM Program.

U

nderstanding disease vectors and recognizing disease symptoms can allow for timely management decisions in almond production. Mohammad Yaghmour, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) orchard systems advisor for Kern and Kings counties, explained differences and similarities among vector-transmitted bacterial and viral disease of almond trees and how the diseases are transmitted at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference. A typical disease triangle includes host, pathogen and environment, Yaghmour said, but vectors can also play a part in spread of disease.

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The bacterial disease Almond Leaf Scorch (ALS) is vectored by insects and can become a chronic problem in almond orchards, reducing yields and eventually causing tree decline and death. Yaghmour said the symptoms of ALS might not even be noticeable for several years after infection. Symptoms of this disease can be spotted in early June. Later in the growing season and close to harvest time,

Continued on Page 34


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Almond leaf scorch is bacterial disease causing leaf margins to become dry and brittle.

Continued from Page 32 symptoms of ALS could be hard to recognize if the trees are suffering from other stresses. Such symptoms which include dry or scorched appearing leaf margins may be attributed to salt burn or water stress. The distinguishing symptom for ALS is a yellow band on affected leaves between the healthy tissue and the dry

tissue. This slow developing disease may first affect one branch or a portion of one scaffold near the infection site, but as the disease progresses, the entire canopy becomes affected. Trees on orchard edges are typically affected first. Yaghmour said that symptomatic leaves can be tested early in the season when symptoms first appear to make a positive ALS diagnosis. The bacterium that causes ALS is

Xylella fastidiosa, also causes Pierce’s Disease in grapevines, and alfalfa dwarf disease. It was first discovered in California in Mendocino County in the 1940s and then found in Los Angeles and Contra Costa counties.

Vectors of ALS

Insects that feed on the xylem of plants are vectors of ALS. Vectoring species include leafhoppers and

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Yellow bud mosaic is a viral disease that is spread in almonds by budding with infected plant material. The Mission variety is most susceptible.

spittlebugs. Sharpshooters are also vectors, but it is not believed that they can spread the disease from an infected tree to a healthy tree. The disease inoculum can be found in many common orchard weeds or in riparian plants species. The UC IPM web sites identified host plants as bluegrass, nettle, burr clover filaree, chickweed and cheeseweed. The disease has been found in all almond growing regions of the Central Valley.

Prune Back or Remove Trees

If a number of trees in an orchard have been diagnosed with ALS, Yaghmour said growers must make a decision to either prune back infected tree branches in early infection stages or remove the orchard before yields are severely affected. Infected trees that are less than ten years old should be removed. Orchards that are nearing the end of their normal life span will likely not have enough of a yield loss to justify removal right away. The most difficult management decision, Yaghmour said, is with an 11-16 year orchard. Factors in that decision include the number of infected trees and the orchard proximity to young orchards. Orchard age, yield loss due to infection, and the value of a maximally producing almond tree should be considered when deciding to remove ALS-affected trees.

Management

One of the management tools is to keep orchard floors free of weeds because infected weeds with the bacterium can be a source of inoculum. Orchards with a permanent cover cropping system are at more risk for ALS. A

six-week interval where floors are bare will prevent the establishment of vectors in the orchard, Yaghmour said. Irrigated pasture and weedy alfalfa fields are the most common habitats for ALS vectors.

Almond Calico and Infectious Bud Failure

Almond calico and infectious bud failure are viral diseases. Symptoms of the disease are more common in the spring when weather has been cool. The virus that causes the disease is Prunus Necrotic Ringspot Virus (PNRV) which is transmitted by pollen mediated by insect damage to flowers. Symptoms include chlorotic spots and mottling on leaves, but they may not show clearly in years with warm, dry spring temperatures. Infectious bud failure can be moderate to severe with or without calico symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms of infectious bud failure may develop 10 years after initial infection. Lateral flowers and vegetative buds fail and few flowers set fruit. Planting nursery trees certified PNRVfree is recommended, Yaghmour said. If

Calico symptoms appear in a few young trees, removing them will eliminate the source of pollen. If Calico symptoms are widespread, replanting the entire block might be the best option.

Yellow Bud Mosaic

Another viral disease is Yellow Bud Mosaic. This disease is caused by the

January 2020

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Yellow bud mosaic.

Continued from Page 35 tomato ring spot virus and affects other stone fruit including peaches and apricots. It is spread in almond orchards by using infected budding plant material or by dagger nematodes inside the orchard. This virus is also seed-transmitted. Infected seed will grow and then become a source of the disease in the orchard if the orchard is infested with dagger nematode.

Symptoms of trees infected with yellow bud mosaic include crinkled or distorted leaves, necrotic spots may develop and then will drop off leaving a tattered appearance. Leaves may also be stunted or form small rosettes. Hulls of developing fruit have a rough or wrinkled appearance. Yaghmour said this disease was first diagnosed in California in 1936 in almonds and peaches in Solano and Yolo counties. The Mission cultivar is

most susceptible to yellow bud mosaic which can also infect most rootstocks except for Marianna 2624. Hosts for the virus include broadleaf weeds, fruit trees and grapevines. Management of yellow bud mosaic includes limiting nematode spread into the orchard. If smaller areas are affected, removing infected trees plus trees at least two rows from a small affected area is recommended. Infected trees should be treated with an herbicide or

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girdled to kill roots. As many roots as possible should be removed, ground should be fallowed and fumigated before replanting. Yaghmour said that if there are several places in the orchard with symptomatic signs of the disease, removal of the entire block should be considered.

Almond Brown Line and Decline Disease

Almond brown line and decline disease affects almond cultivars grown on Marianna 2624 rootstock. This disease is associated with Peach yellow leafroll phytoplasma, which is transmitted by pear psylla. Phytoplasma is a microbe that spreads within the phloem of an infected tree. When it reaches the graft union, cells of the Marianna rootstock die, leaving a layer of brown, necrotic cells that prevent spread of the phytoplasma into the rootstock, but also blocks nutrient movement between rootstock and scion. Trees with almond brown line and decline are stunted. Current season shoot growth is shortened or absent. The name brown line comes from the appearance of brown areas at the graft union. To make a diagnosis check the trunk circumference. This disease is most common in young trees and has been seen in Carmel, Peerless and Price scions according to the UC IPM web site. Infected trees should be removed. Only budwood certified clean of this disease should be used for propagation.

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IMPACT GROWERS By JENNY HOLTERMANN | Contributing Writer

A

cross California there have been towns, rural communities and businesses facing power outages. Utility companies stress the importance to these power outages to prevent fires and protect people. This is what Pat Anderson, of Anderson Hulling and Shelling, was told by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) every time his business had the power turned off. Anderson operates a farming and walnut dryer as well as a walnut processor in Vina, California. Anderson Hulling and Shelling is nestled between irrigated pasture and walnut trees alongside highway 99 just east of Corning. Where the businesses sit, you wouldn’t think forest fires would be an adverse effect of their power. The main transition lines that feed power to

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Anderson’s businesses though, head up highway 36 into Susanville. Anderson said “The way his distribution lines sit, is why Vina loses power. Just last year we were moved to the Vina substation to help us keep our power supply. Before, we operated on the Corning distribution but we were at the end of the line and drew the most power, so it was inefficient and we weren’t getting enough power. They moved our substation so we wouldn’t lose power, and we now have had our power cut twice because we are connected to Susanville’s power.” Anderson operates the farming side of the business. He manages and owns walnuts, almonds and prunes, plus he runs the two walnut hullers in Vina which have a dryer capacity of 850 tons.

January 2020

Anderson also operates a walnut processor which processes 65 million pounds of walnuts. The amount of power to keep these businesses moving in the heart of walnut harvest is extensive, and it is critical to their business and their customers. Losing power has been a detriment to both.

Power Outages

The first power outage occurred October 8-9th, when Anderson was just starting to gear up into walnut harvest and hitting a busy time. Luckily, harvest was a little late this year or he could have been in the thick of harvest without power. Anderson explains, “We didn’t suffer from damages or rotting nuts, it was more of loss of revenue and inconvenience than anything. We had to tell farmers to hurry up and harvest so we could get their product in the dryer and get as much dryer time as we could, even if it was just a few hours.” Anderson went on to explain that they lost business because growers had to send their product somewhere else. Walnuts need to be dried within 24 hours of being harvested and when his dryers were shut down, those growers found other dryers to send their walnuts to. Anderson estimates he lost out on hulling and drying at least 10 loads due to the power outages. That equates to about 300,000 pounds of walnuts that he didn’t get to run through his dryer and were taken to an alternate business, an estimated loss of about $25,000 on just his huller and dryer. The second shut off came just two weeks later when they were just starting to wrap up harvest, but this time they lost power for 36 hours. It is goal for the processor to receive all walnuts within a 45-day window of harvest. Anderson had to tell other dryers his processor couldn’t receive for those 36 hours. A month later he was still playing catch up. Anderson explained, “With a tight timeframe we operate on, we have no choice


but to pay double and overtime to get all the walnuts processed. Customers still demand product. We just have to make up for it over weekends and long days.” That loss in revenue will show up in the form of his payroll and wages paid to catch up on time lost.

Alternate Power

Anderson’s facility is all electric and he has no generators. He estimates “I would need a minimum of three generators the size of semi-trucks to power our facilities. The ones I’ve been looking into renting could be $10,000 per day, but they don’t have them in my area.” Anderson also went on to say he is usually only given one day notice when he will lose power, so it would be impossible to rent and transport a generator in time for him to utilize it. For the size of his businesses, buying a generator would be extremely costly. Lee Heringer farms with M&T Ranch just south of Vina in Chico. He has looked into a generator for just their walnut huller and dryer. Heringer says

“It would cost us about $200,000 after purchase and install. Then, we would still need to tie into the existing electrical system and pour a concrete slab with conduit.” Heringer was worried about losing their walnut crop and the possibility of the crop turning rancid before they would be able to dry them. Heringer stressed the importance with walnuts, “They can’t be stockpiled and held for any period of time like almonds, they have to be harvested now. When they are ready, we have to go, or you risk the elements.”

A Domino Effect

Growers like Heringer were at the mercy of the processors like Anderson though. Heringer had to put their harvest on hold for a short time because of the outages, “When processors that we sell to were closed because their power was out, they cannot receive. We are able to hold the product until they are up and running only because we’ve already hulled and dried the walnuts ourselves.”

It could have worked out differently though. Once a grower or dryer runs out of trailers and drying bins to hold dry walnuts, they reach capacity, too. Harvest would then be put on hold and the walnuts left in the field. Being exposed to Mother Nature and weather is a very risky move. The domino effect would be in full swing at that point. It is an industry concern if crops are not able to be harvested on time. The risk is—quality, efficiency and loss of profit across the board. Heringer explains, “One step in the process being halted creates a wave of inefficiency and delay that effects the whole system. With perishable crops such as walnuts, prunes or rice, any delay can be devastating. If we lose power here at the huller, that stops not only our harvest, but the dozens of neighbors we hull and dry for as well.” Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

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By RICH KREPS | CCA

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itting on a beach at a cousin’s wedding near the equator, seemed an unusual spot to write this months article on winter leaching. There really is no winter and they don’t have to actually purposefully leach bad salts from the ground as Mother Nature handles all of that for them. Unfortunately in the west, we aren’t so lucky. Salts accumulate. Our soils hold much tighter to nutrients and our inadequate water supplies won’t allow us to clean up the bad guys very easily. The flip side is, we have the most amazing soils in the world for fresh produce and nuts. When we get our soils more in balance we can create spectacular quality and yield.

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and pumps when the first rains hit. We waited a bit for those to hit this year but when they came, for the most part, California got hit hard. That’s a good start. But we need to make sure the soils stay saturated so rain water can exacerbate the leaching fraction. Using salty water will require more of it to keep the salinity in the root zone at an acceptable level. If we can get the soil saturated first with the bad stuff we can clean it up easier with more acidic rain water. If we have weeks of no rain or small amounts of it, turn the pumps on. Keeping the soil saturated before the rains hit will have a better effect.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) website defines leaching fraction requirements as follows:

Estimating Leaching Fraction Requirements

The leaching fraction is the amount of extra irrigation water that must be applied above the amount required by the crop in order to maintain an acceptable root zone salinity depending on the salinity of the water it is being irrigated with. To estimate the needed leaching fraction required, decide what soil salinity will be acceptable. Then find the EC (Electrical Conductivity) ds/M (deciSiemens per meter) of the water you are irrigating with. The section where these two lines intersect is the

percent of water over and above the crop requirements that must be applied to maintain the desired EC in the root zone. For example, corn can tolerate a root zone salinity (EC) of 1.7 ds/M. If you irrigate consistently with water with an EC of 1.0, you will need to apply 30 percent more water than the crop needs to keep from exceeding 1.7 ds/M in the root zone. These relationships were determined with normal irrigation water. Since some of the EC in lagoon water comes from ammonium and potassium, both of which can be expected to be utilized by the crop, it is possible that the actual leaching fraction needed will be somewhat less than indicated by this chart.”

Salinity Index

Every fertilizer is a salt. Calcium

January 2020

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Continued from Page 41 nitrate, ammonia sulfate, potassium sulfate, mono potassium phosphate, etc… you get the point. But a fertilizer’s salinity index will give you an idea of how much burn a fertilizer can induce. Ammonia sulfate has a much higher salinity index than Calcium nitrate. Salinity index is a measure of the relationship between moisture and Electrical Conductivity. In essence, when our ground becomes too salty, the ground pulls harder on the soil moisture than the roots can pull on that same water. And as the concentration of detrimental ions like sodium climb, they will be absorbed more readily

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than a similar ion like potassium. And with the roots working harder, more energy is expended trying to get water up the xylem. Staying alive becomes a priority over making bigger babies. It is also important to remember that stable salts don’t attach to the soil colloid. They can wedge the ground open to allow water to pass but they won’t displace each other. Calcium sulfate likes to be calcium sulfate. Potassium sulfate is very stable as, you guessed it, potassium sulfate. You have to break apart the salt to make the magic happen. We can help this process along in high pH soils by adding acids to our irrigation water or applying acid directly to the soil. Break apart calcium sulfate, and one calcium ion will displace two sodium ions from the attachment points. Rain water can now drive that sodium out of the root zone. Adding sulfur to the soil will help this process along in the same manner. Carbonic acid, hydronium acid, even citric, humic and fulvic acids will help. Adding more carbon and hydrogen will allow Mother Nature’s blessing of rain water do a better job of cleaning up our soils. And remember, rain water is more acidic than irrigation water…. Get the picture? The EC’s in the soil should also pull that rain water down more easily. Turning the pumps on during the winter months can be a royal pain the gluteus maximus. But we don’t have to run full irrigation sets if we are just keeping our soils moist. Keep the soil saturated, add some acid to it and let the rain do its job. That spring time bloom will thank you for it and you may even be able to add less overall fertilizer next year and see more than adequate tissue levels. Be proactive this winter and give your soil a good scrubbing. Your trees will shine next spring with clean pipes this winter.

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ADVISOR PROFILE:

MOHAMMAD YAGHOUR By CRYSTAL NAY | Contributing Writer

“We had to learn to prune trees, plant pathology, nematology, raising chickens, dealing with cows, you name it,” says Yaghmour fondly of ohammad Yaghmour, Ph.D, his last semester. “Anything having Area Orchards System to do with agriculture or Ag ecoAdvisor for the Kern nomics, we had to do it in the field. County Cooperative Extension, It was an amazing experience.” has spent the last two decades dedFrom there, Yaghmour joined the icated to California’s agriculture, Jordanian Agricultural Engineers and the roots of his agricultural Association in order to practice agribackground run even deeper. culture, where he was also part of a His grandfather had a vineyard one-year internship program that in Hebron, and his father held a partnered with a large corporation degree in agriculture and worked for industry experience. It was here for the Ministery of Agriculture in that he put his knowledge of potaJordan. It was through the family toes to further use, but also made business that Yaghmour learned a smooth transition to fruit trees— how to grow potatoes, and pursued stone fruit, in particular—during the his own studies in agriculture. wintertime. As part of the agricultural Identifying California as the best program at the University of place in the world to have a degree Jordan, Yaghmour had to leave in agriculture, Yaghmour made the home and live on the university leap to the States, where he earned farm for one semester, where his master’s degree from Fresno students apply everything they’ve State University, and then his Ph.D. learned during their formal from the University of California, education. Davis. It also proved a sensible transition for Yaghmour, as COMPLETE PLANTS Built to Fit Your Needs the climate back home in Jordan and that of California share Mediterranean characteristics. Over his 20-year career here in California, Yaghmour has seen the industry WizardManufacturing.com info@wizardmanufacturing.com change, but most

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importantly in regards to water and water usage. And, when comparing water availability in California to that in his home country of Jordan, he sees how the similarities are increasing. “Jordan is one of the ten most countries in the world short on water resources,” says Yaghmour, “and I see how California is getting into a situation, in part, where there might be a limitation on how much water you can pump out of the wells, etc. The water issue is the biggest challenge I’m seeing right now.” On the flip side of agricultural challenges, Yaghmour is also seeing how much current research activities are playing a major role in California’s agriculture. He’s pleased to see funding from federal and state governments, commodity boards, and other sources, and would like to see it further supported. “The support for the research community will support the agricultural community here in California,” says Yaghmour. “We supply the growers with data-driven information…and I’ve never been in a place where a grower did not adopt something that would benefit them.” For now, Yaghmour will continue doing what he loves—applied research, helping growers, and delivering information via the University of California Cooperative Extension. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


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AP

ADVISOR PROFILE:

PHOEBE GORDON By CRYSTAL NAY | Contributing Writer

P

counties, jumped into agriculture classes—that her eyes were opened to full time in 2015, and has been with something different and significant UCCE for three years. A California on a very human level. native, Gordon grew up in the “[The professor] showed us a map Mojave Desert on the eastern side of political instability in the world of Kern County. She landed north and overlaid it with a map that at University of California, Davis for showed degraded agricultural lands,” her bacherecalls Gordon. “The two matched to lor’s degree an alarming degree. I decided then in plant that I wanted to put my research efforts into feeding people.” biology, then Though her career in the California headed to the agricultural landscape is still young, Midwest for and some major initial changes are her Ph.D. at starting to take shape, there are Ohio State some changes Gordon would like to University, see, such as “more of the ‘I’ in ‘IPM’, where she particularly for pests where we have studied a lot of tools in addition to sprays,” horticulture. she says. A current example of this Initially, is sanitation and early harvest for Gordon had herself set the reduction of navel orangeworm Looking for 2-3 Crop Advisors to to pursue damage. join our team. a career Another is an improvement in in urban water management. “Water manageforestry ment is the key to successful orchard IMMEDIATE OPENINGS IN research, after management. It’s an important MERCED, STANISLAUS AND receiving her management tool that’s only going SAN JOAQUIN COUNTIES doctorate in to become more important in the landscape future,” says Gordon. Contact Craig Fourchy for more horticulture Gordon also co-hosts the UCCE info: cfourchy@ultragro.net with a focus podcast Growing the Valley. on shade tree production. But it was during a Comments about this article? We want course on soil to hear from you. Feel free to email us at physics—one article@jcsmarketinginc.com of her final

hoebe Gordon, Ph.D., Orchard Crops Farm Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) for Madera and Merced

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MICROBIALS DO THEY FIT YOUR FARM? By CECILIA PARSONS | Associate Editor

“It has to fit the way you farm.”

M

ark Abildgaard, Western Regional manager for the biological crop input provider Agrinos, was speaking about the benefits of using his company’s bio stimulant products, but also noting that not all growers have management systems where the products will work. Abildgaard, a workshop presenter at the South Valley Nut and Citrus Conference, explained that plant growth promoting soil microbes capture and digest the soil nutrient reserves from

inorganic and organic fertilizers and release them in a plant usable form, particularly phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Those microbes also capture and fix nitrogen gas for use by plants, create soil organic matter that improves soil water management and increases available nutrients in the soil. In the past decade there has been a surge in the development of microbial products for use on a wide range of

Continued on Page 52

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Continued from Page 50 crops. The products are marketed under a number of names including bio stimulants, bio fungicides, and bio-fertilizers. They may contain one strain of bacteria or fungi, or many. Some products are soil applied and others are foliar.

Microorganisms

Recognizing that microorganisms (usually bacteria and fungi) could benefit agriculture is not new. Beneficial bacteria that form nodules in the roots of legumes and provide the plant with nitrogen captured from the atmosphere—have long been known to boost legume yield and health. Mycorrhizal fungi have been recognized as important plant partners, scavenging nutrients from the soil and delivering them to plant roots. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), there is an incredible diversity of organisms in soil. These microbes range in size from the tiniest one celled bacteria, algae, fungi and protozoa to larger, more complex—and visible—earthworms, insects and small invertebrates. Microbes live in the microscale environments within and between soil particles. Differences over short distances in pH, moisture, pore size and the types of food available create a broad range of habitat—or and absence of habitat. By eating, growing and moving through the soil the plant growth promoting microbes contribute to healthy soils and plants.

New Technology

New technology now allows for the exploration of diverse microorganisms and the beneficial functions they can provide. Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill was an important milestone for the growth and adoption of biostimulant products as the bill included statutory language about the products. That set the stage for a formal regulatory framework to ensure the appropriate process

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for review, approval and uniform national labeling of agricultural biostimulant products. The bill was also the first federal recognition of biostimulant products as an emerging technology for production agriculture. The Farm Bill describes a plant biostimulant as a substance or microorganism that, when applied to seeds, plants or the rhizosphere, stimulates natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress or crop quality and yield. The USDA is required to perform studies on the potential regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to ensure appropriate review and labeling of microbial products. Most companies that generate microbial products follow a similar process. First, many microorganisms are captured from soil or plant samples, and are then grown in lab cultures. Next, these lab-grown microorganisms are tested for their ability to improve the growth of crop seedlings in a lab or greenhouse. Promising microorganisms then advance to field trials. If successful in the field, a microorganism will likely be slated for commercial approval and production. Large quantities of the microorganism must then be grown, formulated, and packaged for sale. Trials have also shown that the microbial products help prevent plant stress and improve plant performance. Agrinos microbial products, Abildgaard explained, deliver a diverse microbial consortium with a broad range of benefits, often with redundancy across strains. That supports consistent results across a diverse range of environmental conditions and crops, he said. “You need a diverse package to ensure performance,” Abildgaard said. The major bacterial genera represented in the consortium are azotobacter vinelandii and clostridium pasteurianum. Agrinos’ proprietary products were developed through the High Yield Technology platform.

January 2020

Field Trials

Field trials conducted between 2010 and 2018 are showing that the microbial products are improving yields. Third party researchers conducted replicated trials with the Agrinos products applied via drip irrigation or as a foliar spray. In almonds, 15 trials were completed over two years. Average yield increase with Agrinos products applied in the orchard was 17 percent. In addition to almonds, the products were used on crops including grapes, melons, tomatoes and wheat. Field trials evaluated Agrinos products used along or in combination with each other against untreated grower standard control plots and competitive biological products. Trials conducted by Sawtooth Ag Research over the last two growing seasons found improved yields. In 2018, a trial in a 12-year-old Terra Bella area Nonpareil orchard found a four percent increase in yield in treated trees compared to a grower standard program. The Agrinos product iNvigorate was applied via drip at two quarts per acre at petal fall in that trial. Another Terra Bella trial in seven year Nonpareils saw a 17 percent increase in nut meat yield over the grower control. In that trial, the Agrinos product BSure was applied at one quart per acre in a folia spray at bloom and petal fall. Mike Austin of Agrinos said the company has put a premium on constantly measuring and validating the agronomic benefits of its products with research and field trials. It is gratifying, he added, that the results are verified repeatedly over long periods of time and with different environments and production systems. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


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WALNUTS AND CROWN GALL:

WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO MANAGE By CRYSTAL NAY | Contributing Writer

C

rown gall—the tumors or galls that can appear on the roots, trunk, and crown of a tree—is nothing if not unsightly, but these abnormal masses that appear on walnut trees stem from a more involved process.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens

While a nuisance to growers and a hindrance to trees, Agrobacterium tumefaciens— the bacterium responsible for crown gall—has actually made an impact on humankind and medical advancement due to its ability to transform a cell into what the bacterium needs it to be, making it a key player in genetic engineering. But to put it succinctly in regards to orchards, A. tumefaciens is everywhere. However, being everywhere doesn’t necessarily mean that it will cause disease (pathogenic) to your trees. To become a pathogen, the bacterium requires a wound or natural opening in order to enter the tree. Once it enters, the bacterium takes a piece of its own DNA—called a plasmid—and inserts it into the plant cells of the tree, which then causes the crown gall bacteria to self-proliferate. (It is this plasmid that makes the bacteria pathogenic. Not all carry this plasmid.) The bacterium forces the plant to generate a very special, selective food source that only that bacterium can eat, and other competing bacteria cannot eat it. It’s self-sustenance at its finest. Crown gall is unique in that it is motile, is not harbored in grasses, does not cause necrosis, and, therefore, isn’t credited with directly killing trees. It can send the host tree into a decline, but the tree will remain alive, and can remain so for a very long time. (It’s possible to find trees that are 20-30 years old that have crown gall.) It does,

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however, affect tree size, which can have a domino-like effect in terms of yield. Irrigation issues come into play when trees are smaller because they are receiving more water when compared to larger, healthy trees in the same row. This also causes the infected trees to age more quickly.

Research

A study conducted by Lynn Epstein and colleagues and published in 2008 found that for every quarter of the trunk circumference that had galls, there was a 12 percent decrease in cumulative nut yield over the first four years. Basically, larger trees have a higher yield, unless they’re infected by crown gall. Crown gall also predisposes the trees to other pests and diseases. A closely related pathogen to crown gall is hairy root, or Agrobacterium rhizogenes. Sometimes both crown gall and hairy root are found on the same tree. Crown gall also predisposes trees to thousand cankers disease, which is a fungal pathogen and introduced to the tree via the walnut twig beetle. In past studies, it was found that trees with thousand cankers were more likely to have crown gall, but trees without crown gall are less likely to become infected with thousand cankers. In related studies conducted by Elizabeth Fichtner, Ph.D, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Tulare County farm advisor, insect pest larvae were excavated from trees both with and without crown gall, with a higher number of larvae present on the roots and crowns of trees with crown gall. Not only that, but pests feed on the galls, and when the insects were taken to the lab and swabbed, A.

January 2020

tumefaciens was inside their digestive tract. Though this has yet to be proven scientifically and is currently just a hypothesis, this suggests that there is the potential for insects to spread the bacteria. What does this mean for growers and the management of the crown gall pathogen?

Rootstock Selection

Sometimes curbing infection can start at the beginning with rootstock selection. For one, crown gall cares less for black walnut than it does for other types. Though black walnut is still susceptible, it seems to have a lower frequency of crown gall. Paradox seedlings are highly susceptible. RX-1 seems to show moderate resistance to the pathogen, but is still susceptible. Any clones grown in sterile conditions seem to have a lower instance of crown gall, but this is particularly in part due to their initial growing environments. They’re not genetically more resistant, but rather grown in lab conditions that exclude exposure to the pathogen. If the pathogen isn’t present, then the trees cannot be infected. There is a trade-off with the RX-1 rootstock, however. While it may be more resistant to crown gall, it also has moderate vigor. Since this is a less vigorous tree, it doesn’t yield as well as other trees.

Exposure to Crown Gall

But, how does crown gall make its way to your walnut trees in the first place? Since A. tumefaciens is everywhere, it may colonize your soil, but it

Continued on Page 56


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cannot affect your trees unless it makes its way through an opening. There are a few ways that crown gall bacteria can make it into plants. Dirty grafting knives or pruning tools can spread bacteria, and while this seems like an obvious culprit, how it happens isn’t so obvious. A crew can start with clean tools on uninfected trees, but if those tools happen to touch the soil, which is infested, and then create pruning wounds before re-sterilizing the tools, crown gall has now been given an ideal opportunity to infect the tree. The transfer of that bacteria doesn’t stop with that first cut. Dirty tools can continue to infect plants for several cuts as you make your way down the row. The rate will decrease, but bacteria transfer can happen for up to several cuts. Infested budwood can also spread bacteria to previously uninfected trees. If nursery crews collect budwood from a tree that does not contain crown gall, and the budwood falls on infested soil, crown gall bacteria can now infest that budwood. If that infested budwood is then used to bud a tree, symptoms of crown gall may appear at the graft union or other areas of the tree. Also, clean seeds that fall into soil infested with A. tumefaciens have a higher possibility of becoming infested the longer they sit in the soil. This is another way that crown gall can make its way into later generations of walnuts. It’s completely possible to purchase healthy trees from a nursery that have the bacteria on them, and to never have known the plants carried the bacteria until the tree was wounded. Plants can be asymptomatic, meaning they can carry the bacterium without showing symptoms, the way humans can carry a common cold or flu virus and not be aware. Crown gall bacteria also translocates through the plant, so even if A. tumefaciens is found in the soil, galls can appear anywhere throughout the tree.

Prevention

What can growers do to prevent or manage crown gall in their orchards? Sanitizing tools is an immediate

January 2020

practice that can be put into place. Bleach is an easy and cost-effective way to disinfect pruning shears, grafting knives, and other tools, as it takes low concentrations to kill the pathogen. It’s best to spray tools with the bleach solution, which can provide up to a 93 percent reduction in crown gall bacteria; dipping tools increases the number of solids that appear in the solution, which dramatically decreases the solution’s effectiveness, and can even render it useless. The downsides to bleach are that it can corrode tools and that it’s phytotoxic. There are some commercial solutions available on the market that are non-corrosive, not phytotoxic, and maintain their efficacy even as the particulate matter accumulates in the solution, meaning tools can be dipped. These quaternary ammonium compounds are cationic disinfectants and quite effective. However, these solutions cost much more than bleach, and require a much higher amount of the active ingredient in order to be effective.

Infected Trees

For trees already infected with crown gall, the decision to remove the tree or just remove the gall becomes a decision based on a few factors: your economics, the severity of the gall, and the age of the tree. Crown gall researchers suggest that if first leaf trees are found to be infected, just remove them and replant. In second leaf trees, treat smaller galls, but remove and replant only the trees that have large galls—galls that are bigger than a quarter of the diameter of the trunk. For those in third through seventh leaf, treat the galls unless the tree is completely girdled. Trees older than this are just let go and left untreated. While there aren’t chemical sprays that are effective for use against crown gall, there are biocontrol agents that can be used to dip cuttings and prevent infection. These are made from Agrobacterium radiobacter and are found under the names Galltrol A, Norbac 84C, Nogall, and Diegall. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


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PLANNING YOUR PREEMERGENT PLAN By JULIE R. JOHNSON | Associate Editor

Brad Hanson, UC Cooperate Extension weed specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, talks about weed control during the Tehama County Growers Meeting/Continued Education Hours Workshop at the Tehama District Fairgrounds in November. All photos courtesy of Julie R. Johnson.

"I

t's that time of year when we're planning preemergence (PRE), aka residual, herbicide programs for orchards,” says Brad Hanson, University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. “Typically these are the herbicides that are applied in the fall, winter, or early spring before weeds emerge.” Hanson presented the topic of Weed Control for Orchard Crops during Tehama County's inaugural Tehama Growers Meeting/Continued Education Hours Workshop in November at the Tehama District Fairgrounds. Hanson talked about weed control in general, however his emphasis was on PRE control.

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He discussed research conducted in Hanson's department by a former graduate student, Dr. Caio Brunharo, who is now a faculty member at Oregon State University, that focused on evaluating sequential herbicide applications in perennial cropping systems as a means to provide season long weed management; reduce postemergence herbicide use and selection pressure on summer weed species. In a UC Davis Weed Science blog post, Brunharo said summer grass weed species are becoming more troublesome in orchards. “Feather fingergrass, junglerice, sprangletop and threespike goosegrass, to name a few, are summer grass weed species that germinate (or in some cases, resume growing) when the soil temperatures start to rise in the spring, develop during the summer and complete their life cycle in the fall,” Brunharo wrote. With summer grass weed species reaching their peak late summer, early fall, that timing coincidentally occurs when harvest operations are taking place. “To make matters worse,” Brunharo says, “some of the mentioned weed species have some degree of glyphosate resistance/inherent tolerance.” Hanson adds to this, “As most orchardists and pest control advisors are well aware, glyphosate-resistant weeds have been one of the biggest weed management challenges in California orchard crops for several years.” In discussing this issue, Hanson said for growers in the Central Valley, “your biggest challenges in the glyphosate-resistant weed department are probably one or more of the winter annual weeds.”

January 2020

for

2020

In the San Joaquin Valley, hairy fleabane and horseweed (also known as mare's tail), dominate. In the Sacramento Valley and in some North coast areas, Hanson said annual or Italian ryegrass is more common. “For an extra challenge, many growers have a mix of several of these, in addition to their other common orchard weed spectrum,” he added.

The Problem

Brunharo says the common weed control program in tree nut orchard crops in the state consists of a winter preemergence/postemergence herbicide tankmix application, followed by a burndown application in the spring with a postemergence herbicide, and then an additional burndown herbicide application before harvest in almonds. “However,” he says, “because most of the burndown herbicides have no residual activity (such as glyphosate, glufosinate, paraquat) or relatively sort residual activity (such as oxyfluorfen), weeds that germinate after the spring treatment may still develop during the summer.” In addition, in the summertime, the weeds will grow larger and become less prone to control either because of their size or because of resistance to common summer POST herbicides, Brunharo explains. “In this context,” he wrote, “season-long weed management strategies become crucial to prevent weeds from interfering with irrigation systems or harvest operations in orchard crops in California.”

Continued on Page 60


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UCCE weed specialist Brad Hanson says, as most orchardists and pest control advisors are well aware, glyphosate-resistant weeds have been one of the biggest weed management challenges in California orchard crops for several years.

Continued from Page 58

Field Trials

Hanson's team looked at the concept of using sequential PRE herbicide programs in tree nuts as a way of specifically targeting summer emerging weeds. “The idea behind the sequential approach is to apply a second PRE herbicide shortly before germination of the summer species rather than trying to achieve summer weed control with only the PRE herbicides applied in winter,” Brunharo said. Two field trials were conducted in walnuts in Tulare County from December 2017 to August 2018. The treatments consisted of a December application of one of three common preemergence herbicides. On top of this, pendimethalin (Prowl H2O) was tank mixed with the December treatment, applied as a sequential treatment in March, or split with part of the pendimethalin treatment applied in December and part in March. (see table). The foundation herbicides were indaziflam (Alion), penoxsulam/oxyfluorfen (PindarGT) and flumioxazin (Tuscany). At both application timings, glyphosate + glufosinate was added to the preemergence treatments to ensure that all weeds evaluated originated from seed and not from regrowth. Junglerice was the predominant summer weed species at both sites. Junglerice control was evaluated monthly and aboveground biomass was collected in

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January 2020


August before trial termination. Brunharo said both sites yielded similar results. “We observed a general trend that the addition of pendimethalin enhanced junglerice control throughout the crop growing season. Not surprisingly, summer grass control was best with all three winter foundation herbicides when followed with the high rate of pendimethalin (Prowl 4 qt/A) in the spring,” he added. “In areas where summer weed species are the major issue, shifting some or all of the pendimethalin component of the herbicide program may significantly improve performance relative to the winter-only PRE approach. However, in areas where winter grass weed species are also troublesome, the sequential pendimethalin application may be more appropriate.” Brunharo said the bottom line is that we can, in some instances, improve or maintain weed control outcomes using less herbicide by carefully considering the biology of the weed, weed control goals, and the weed management tools at a grower's disposal.

Herbicide Dissipation

Hanson discussed five concepts concerning herbicide dissipation (or disappearance), which he said is a word that describes both degradation processes and transfer processes. Hanson explained that all herbicides dissipate in the soil environment and that this usually follows what is called first order or second order degradation kinetics—basically a curved line. “This means that the processes happen faster at first and then slow down over time,” he added. “The whole point of residual herbicides is that they persist in the soil for a period of time and affect weeds that germinate after the application.” The five concepts are as follows: 1. Herbicide dissipation is the function of both degradation and transfer processes. Degradation implies a change in structure and transfer implies and change in availability. 2. PRE herbicides have some thresholds for weed control efficacy and varies among weeds and herbicides. Duration of weed control is greatly affected by degradation rate. Degradation rate is a function of both the chemistry of the herbicide and environmental factors. 3. Duration of a single application of PRE herbicide applied in late fall is largely a function of starting concentration and degradation rate. Higher rates typically result in longer weed control. A higher rate will remain above the activity threshold for longer than a lower rate of the same herbicide.

Continued on Page 62

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Because most of the burndown herbicides have no residual activity (such as glyphosate, glufosinate, paraquat) or relatively sort residual activity, weeds that germinate after spring treatment may still develop during the summer, according to Caio Brunharo, faculty member at Oregon State University.

Continued from Page 61 Hanson said, to him, one of the biggest challenges of using PRE herbicides in the orchard system is that growers typically apply PRE herbicides in the winter when they get rainfall to incorporate them, but the herbicides may dissipate too fast to control the late winter weeds or the summer-emerging weeds. “Starting with higher application rates in the winter is one approach to addressing this issue,” he explained. 4. A PRE tank mixture broadens weed control spectrum and can be good for resistance management but does not necessarily affect duration of weed control because degradation rate is largely independent for the two herbicides. “Oftentimes, we'll use a tank mix of two or more PRE herbicides in the winter to broaden the weed control spectrum and reduce selection pressure for herbicide resistant weeds,” Hanson stated. “While this is a good approach to managing diverse weeds, it does not really do much to stretch the weed control duration later into the summer because the dissipation processes of the individual herbicides are really independent of one another.”

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5. A sequential application with another residual herbicide (plus a POST partner) may extend weed control in some cases without significantly increasing total herbicide used. “Sequential applications of PRE herbicides is another way that weed control duration might be extended later into the season,” Hanson says. “This could be a sequence to two different herbicides with the first PRE herbicide applied in winter and the second PRE herbicide applied in late spring. This might also be done with a repeat application of the first herbicide which could make sense in some situations, and another to target summer grasses.” In summary, Hanson says how do you typically account for dissipation of PRE herbicides in orchard crops? He shares three general strategies: ▶ Use mixtures of more than one PRE herbicide. ▶ Apply a higher (labeled) rate of PRE herbicide. ▶ Use a sequential approach to PRE programs in orchards.

To illustrate this strategy, Hanson shared the following: “An almond grower who typically uses an effective preemergence program applied around the first of December followed by a March 'cleanup' treatment with glyphosate may still have difficulty managing glyphosate-resistant grasses. The grower knows that herbicides like oryzalin or pendimethalin could help with grasses. Using the higher rate approach, the grower could use a high label rate one of these materials in December with the idea that it will persist long enough to control summer grasses emerging six months later. Using the sequential approach, the grower could move all or part of the oryzalin or pendimethalin component of the program to March timing to more directly target those summer germinating grasses, possibly at the same or even lower total application rate.” Hanson says one of the main points of this work is that more herbicide is not necessarily the best way to get good weed control in orchard crops. “I'd rather see growers and PCAs consider the specific weed control challenges in an orchard, and evaluate how best to use the weed control tools at their disposal. Thoughtful, but not excessive, use of our herbicide tools can save money, reduce environmental impacts and result in better weed control. That's the goal here.” Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@ jcsmarketinginc.com


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TRACTOR INCENTIVE FUNDING

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

By ROGER ISOM | President/CEO Western Agricultural Processors Association

I

n 2018, the state began spending greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF) money from the Cap and Trade Program on the “Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program. The FARMER Program was designed to mirrorv the state’s existing Carl Moyer Program, but expand upon it greatly with considerably more funding. The first three years were provided more than $332 million statewide! Unfortunately, it has been diminishing each year. The first year included $135 million in incentive funds, while FY 2019/2020 only has $65 million. This is especially worrisome for the San Joaquin Valley, where their State

The first three years were provided more than $332 million statewide! Implementation Plan (SIP) relies upon 12,000 tractors being replaced by 2023 based upon a full allocation of the FARMER funding. Achievement of that goal is now in serious jeopardy as the state has lowered the FARMER funding. This funding has primarily been used to fund the replacement of tractors, but has also been used to replace agricultural utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) and agricultural trucks. The program will

Year 2017 - 2018 2018 - 2019 2019 - 2020

Total $ $135 million $132 million $65 million

pay a farmer up to 60 percent of the cost of a new Tier 4 tractor or harvester, 65 percent of a new truck, and 5 percent of an electric UTV. As of June 30th of this year, the funding had replaced 130 trucks, 700 tractors and harvesters, 20 ag pumps, and 950 ag UTVs statewide. This is an incredible statistic! And these replacements have in turn generated very significant emission reductions in a very short time period. According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the equipment replacements to date have generated emissions reductions of 42,000 metric tons of CO2e, 230 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 3,700 tons of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) as of June 30th of 2019.

Continued on Page 66

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Air District Ongoing Demand Beyond Current Funding 2 -3x Bay Area 2x Butte 3 -4x Feather River Sac Metro 2x San Joaquin Valley 2 -3x 10x South Coast Ventura 3x Yolo - Solano 2 -3x 2x Shared Pool Districts Continued from Page 64

had 12 ag pumps, 1,549 UTVs, 784 tractors/harvesters, and 152 trucks If you look at more recent data, just just through the FARMER program. for the San Joaquin Valley, it is even And the amazing fact is that farmers more impressive! As of November 12th throughout the state are ready to replace of this year, the San Joaquin Valley Air even more equipment. According to Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) the California Air Resources Board, the ongoing demand for this money is more than twice the money that has been allocated. Here is a breakdown of demand by air district throughout the state: With all of these benefits and this much demand, why are the funds diminishing? That’s the question everyone T5 is asking. With such 100-PTO-horsepower success in cleaning up the state’s air in a very short period of time it seems like the funding would be on the increase. And that is what we are hearing from agencies like the California Air Resources Board and California www.gartontractor.com Environmental Protection Agency

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(CalEPA). But the Administration hasn’t seemed to be on the same page. Even environmental advocates are supporting the cleanup effort as 65 percent of the funding has been spent in areas of disadvantaged and low-income communities. A major effort is brewing to go to Sacramento and demand more money be allocated towards FARMER funding. The Legislative Analyst’s Office just announced that California will have a $7 billion surplus for fiscal year 2020-2021 and much of that would be available for “one time expenditures”. The demand is there and so is the money. We have a real opportunity to meet a state mandate in a way that makes sense, on where all sides agree on doing it. Let’s not waste the chance!

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TOOLS FOR SUCCESSFULLY WRAPPING UP THE SEASON By AMY WOLFE | MPPA, CFRE

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Winding down the season also means terminating employment of seasonal workers. There are important steps to remember to ensure that the individuals receive the appropriate information and that you document their departure accordingly. It is helpful to turn the following into a checklist that you complete for each employee and keep on file:

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s another season comes to a close, the relief that comes with bringing the busiest time of year to an end is palatable. It is also tempting to rush to the much-needed downtime and understandably so! There is, however, an opportunity to ensure compliance finishing touches happen and that you pause, reflect and make note of how next year can be improved. There are a variety of tools to leverage and assist you in successfully wrapping up the season.

West Coast Nut

January 2020

▶ Provide Final Paycheck Acknowledgment Form, signed by the employee ▶ Provide copy of Change in Relationship Form, signed by the employee and company representative ▶ Verify employee’s mailing address


▶ Provide For Your Benefit (California Employment Development Department Form 2320) ▶ Provide Health Insurance Premium (HIPP) Notice ▶ Provide company retirement plan paperwork (if applicable) ▶ Collect any company equipment (if applicable) The Change in Relationship Form is an important element in this process, as it not only serves as formal, documented acknowledgement of termination but can also be used to transition workers from full-time status to part-time or on-call status. The form should include options for employer-driven termination, voluntary termination by the employee, transition

in status, change in compensation terms, requests for time off and other potential changes of employment. It should be signed by the worker, along with their immediate supervisor and a copy should be provided to the employee for their files. It is also important to move these employees’ Form I9s into a folder specifically designated for workers that have recently been terminated but do not yet qualify for document disposal. Now is a good time to add appropriate notes to individuals’ personnel files about their overall performance during the season and other information that will assist you in determining whether or not you will consider rehiring next year.

written program and systems in place, issues may arise. When a near-miss occurs—an almost-accident—the opportunity presents itself to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the incident. Take the time to review the following:

Evaluating Near Misses

▶ What equipment was used, if any,

Worker safety is always a priority and even with an established, well-rounded

▶ What transpired leading up to situation: work being done, location, time of day, weather conditions? ▶ Who were the parties involved— employees, farm labor contractor employees, family members, other vendors’ staff? ▶ What training did those workers receive, by whom and when?

January 2020

Continued on Page 70

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Continued from Page 69 and who owns and maintains that equipment? ▶ Does any evidence exist specific to the situation: pictures, video, text messages, witness statements, broken equipment? In reviewing these facts, consider the steps that need to be taken to prevent this scenario from happening again

and actually becoming a full-fledged incident. Update your written program, consider retraining employees to ensure their knowledge is current, and discuss with your vendors the steps they are taking to ensure their staff know how to mitigate potential issues moving forward. In addition, look at implementing steps to ensure the equipment, tools and products being used on the farm are well-maintained and viable, helping to eliminate that potential exposure.

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The new year is also the time when most government agencies update the myriad of forms related to employment. Their expectation is that employers do their due diligence to ensure they use the most current form available. As such, it’s a good idea to double-check and make sure that you are using the most current version of the following: ▶ Form W-4 (IRS) ▶ Form I-9 (USCIS) ▶ Farm Labor Contractor Registration Application/Renewal Form: WH-520 (USDOL)

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It’s also important that you update terms of employment if you will be making any changes, including compensation as minimum wage increases. Employees should receive a current Notice to Employees with wage rates and other applicable benefits. It is also a good opportunity to ask workers if they need to update their Emergency Contact Information, ensuring you have the most current details should a situation arise. Winding down the busy season can be made much smoother and the start of next year much easier by considering these simple but effective steps. For more information about worker safety, human resources, labor relations, pesticide safety or food safety issues, please visit www.agsafe.org, call (209) 5264400 or email safeinfo@agsafe.org. AgSafe is a 501c3 nonprofit providing training, education, outreach and tools in the areas of safety, labor relations, food safety and human resources for the food and farming industries. Since 1991, AgSafe has educated over 85,000 employers, supervisors, and workers about these critical issues. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com


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A WORD FROM THE BOARD: THE CALIFORNIA WALNUT BOARD

CALIFORNIA WALNUT BOARD

PURSUING CREDIT-BACK AUTHORITY

By MICHELLE CONNELLY | Executive Director & CEO, California Walnut Board and Commission

O

ver the past year, discussions centering on our forecasted increase in production have culminated in the industry’s strategic plan to develop new opportunities to increase demand and stabilize future market returns. The planning discussions focused on exploring any/all tools to support our future growth including a possible change to the marketing order to add credit-back authority. The authority would encourage handers to build upon the California Walnut Board’s (CWB) activities, providing additional visibility, awareness and sales for walnuts, through crediting a portion of the handler promotional expenses against handler assessments due under the program. The California Walnut Federal Marketing Order, established in 1946, provides authority for a set of activities including: research, promotion, and regulating quality and volume control. However it does not currently include authority for handler credit for market promotion (credit-back). This authority, if approved, would allow handlers to receive a credit (rebate) for eligible market promotion activities of seventy cents for every dollar in spend, up to a cap of available dollars based on prior year crop acquisitions. The purpose of the program is to encourage handler marketing activities to promote the sale, use and consumption of walnuts, in addition to the ongoing work of the CWB. Similar programs have been successfully used in the almond and prune industries. At the 2019 spring Board meeting, CWB staff presented a framework for the potential program, and at the

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direction of the Board, the Marketing Order Revision Committee (MORC) convened on several occasions to develop, review and discuss the program structure. The MORC presented its proposal to the Board at its annual fall meeting. An overview of the program is included below. The full board voted unanimously to move forward with a formal request to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The request is currently under USDA review. The process will include a formal hearing which is expected to take place in February 2020. Following the hearing, USDA will make a recommended decision which will be followed by a grower referendum vote, where you will be asked to vote on changing the language in the order to add credit-back authority. The expected timeline for voting is late spring/early summer.

What is Credit-Back Authority?

▶ Credit-back is an authority that several agricultural commodities (almonds, prunes, etc.) use to allow handlers to conduct eligible marketing activities in return for a partial credit/rebate on assessments. ▶ The CWB does not currently have this authority in the marketing order, therefore, formal rulemaking has been undertaken to add the authority to the order.

Objective/Purpose of the Program

▶ Objective of the program— Effectively promote the sale, use and consumption of California walnuts. ▶ Purpose—to encourage handler

January 2020

THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY:

market promotion in addition to the CWB’s generic marketing efforts.

Structure/Mechanics

▶ The credit-back authority, once approved, will be in the Order, whether industry chooses to use or not. ▶ Program authorization to spend will be determined on annualized basis in conjunction with fiscal budgeting. ▶ Determining available dollars for the crop year will be based on percent of budgeted assessment revenue. ▶ Each handler’s share of available dollars to be based on prior year crop acquisitions. ▶ Credit-back will be .70 cents per $1 of spend on eligible marketing & promotional activities.

What are the Rules & Requirements?

▶ Credit-back requires California Walnuts wording and/or handler name with the word walnut(s) to be eligible. ▶ Credit-back is not intended for use with private label/3rd party products.


▶ Activities containing other nuts and/ or fruits, etc. would receive credit-back based on the proportionate share of walnuts included. ▶ Walnuts used as an ingredient in manufactured food products would receive credit-back based on the proportionate share of walnuts included. ▶ Complete rules, regulations and eligible/ineligible activities are defined in the Credit-back Guide.

What are the Impacts to the Board?

a recommendation to the Board annually. ▶ Similar programs have credit-back in the range of 10 percent-15 percent of assessments. ▶ Staffing implications to be determined based on the breadth & depth of the program.

Next Steps and Timeline

▶ The CWB, at the Board’s direction, submitted our request to USDA in September 2019.

▶ To be funded from prevailing assessments, likely reduction in domestic program, given this is the largest area of CWB spend.

▶ USDA is reviewing this request.

▶ Available dollars for the crop year to be based on percent of budgeted assessment revenue; CWB Executive Committee to make

▶ Grower Referendum (Spring 2020) following USDA’s recommended decision.

▶ USDA to hold a public hearing (Winter 2020). Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

ATTEND OUR OPENING

GENERAL SESSION 8:00AM | STATE OF THE INDUSTRY

Harvesting the Future

Where We Are and Where We Are Going

January 10, 2020 7:00AM - 2:30PM Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds Hosted by:

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January 2020

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NORTH VALLEY Nut Conference

GLENN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS 221 E Yolo St, Orland, CA 95963

January 21, 2020 7:30AM - 12:30PM

•Free Event / Trade Show

(Growers, Applicators, PCAs, CCAs, and Processors Welcome!)

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AGENDA 7:30am 8:00am 8:30am 9:00am

CE Credit: DPR: 2.0 Hours CCA: 3.0 Hours CE Hours Pending

Exhibitor Presentations, Trade Show Open Laws and Regulations Update

Marcie Skelton, Glenn County Agricultural Commissioner

Navigating Irrigation Tech Overload Allan Fulton, UCCE Irrigation Advisor

IPM Approach to Controlling Insects & Mites Dr. Emily Symmes, UCCE IPM Advisor

Flash Updates From the Walnut & Almond Boards of California

9:30am

Pam Graviet, Sr. Marketing Director, International, CA Walnut Board Jennifer Williams, Marketing Director, CA Walnut Board

Abhi Kulkarni, Asst. Director, Technical, Regulatory & Industry Affairs, CA Walnut Board Tom Devol, Sen. Manager, Field Outreach/Education, Almond Board of CA

10:00am 10:45am 11:00am 11:30am

Exhibitor Presentations Butte-Yuba-Sutter Water Quality Coalition Update

Rachel Heilman, Program Coordinator, Butte County Farm Bureau

Almond Foliar Diseases

Dr. Jim Adaskaveg, UC Riverside Plant Pathology Professor

Walnut Tree Training: The No Pruning/No Heading Approach Janine Hasey, UCCE Farm Advisor Emeritus

12:00pm

Lunch / Adjourn

Sponsors:

January 2020

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75


A WORD FROM THE BOARD: AMERICAN PECAN COUNCIL CAPTIVATING AMERICA’S COOKS WITH

THE PECAN

THANKSEVERYTHING PIE All photos courtesy of the American Pecan Council.

By ALEXANDER OTT | Executive Director of the American Pecan Council

Creating the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie

I

t’s hard to believe another holiday season has come and gone, and with it the flurry of harvest and quality time with family and friends. This year, the American Pecan Council was on a mission to spotlight the true versatility of pecans. Our goal was to show pecans work just as well in savory dishes as sweet, and are a critical ingredient in all parts of our seasonal celebrations. The holiday season is an incredibly saturated time for both media and consumers, and many brands are working to gain attention around cooking and entertaining. The American Pecans brand knew that in order to make a splash and attract the attention of consumers, we had to create something that was super interesting (maybe even a little surprising!). And while we wanted to showcase just how well pecans work in every dish of the holiday meal, we also wanted to incorporate the classic pie into our plan.

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That’s how the idea of the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie was born—every dish of the holiday meal in a single pie, with every dish incorporating pecans. This holiday campaign allowed us to show and share the traditional pie alongside a suite of other favorites, all wrapped in a wacky, too-good-to-betrue showstopper. As part of the campaign, American Pecans even fielded a survey to confirm America’s love of all things pie. In fact, the consumer survey showed that more than two out of every three people even planned to eat holiday pie for breakfast!

mother. Together, they have a deep appreciation for small businesses and the agriculture community, and were thrilled to partner with the American Pecan Council as a true representation of both. The Elsen sisters have grown their local shop in Brooklyn to a New York city-wide sensation, opened a second location and wrote a cookbook, all garnering the national media spotlight. While traditionally sweet pie-bakers by trade, the sisters loved experimenting with pecans outside of their famous chocolate pecan pie and into the savory realm. Meet our Pecan The sisters developed the Pecan ThanksEverything Partners ThanksEverything Pie, a magical Creating the Pecan ThanksEverything creation with eight unique slices each Pie required a partner well-versed in pie, representing a holiday dish—from new who was up for the challenge. The Elsen twists, such as Turkey Pot Pie with sisters, co-owners of Four & Twenty Pecan Crust to classics like PecanBlackbirds pie bakery in Brooklyn, New Crusted Green Bean Casserole, Mac and York, were the perfect fit. Emily and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs, and Melissa Elsen grew up in a small town Roasted Veggie and Potato Mash with in South Dakota, with a grain-farming Toasted Pecans. father and a family-restaurant-running From candied and roasted to slivered

January 2020


THE NUT YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW, IS SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED.

SUPER NUTRITIOUS. and sprinkled, each slice features pecans in a different way, showing consumers just how versatile The Original Supernut™ can be. Each recipe was also custom-created to work as a standalone side dish, easily prepared and served in a favorite casserole dish. If you’re interested in seeing a behind-the-scenes look at how the pie was created, please visit AmericanPecan. com/ThanksEverything. There, you can check out video content, as well as each of the recipes featured within the pie to try at home.

Sharing the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie

The debut of the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie was met with strong media attention, with articles publishing in publications such as Taste of Home (“This Gorgeous Pie Is Your

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish in Each Slice,”) Reader’s Digest, Delish, Thrillist and more. To help support the media buzz surrounding the pie, the team also met with editors of national food and lifestyle publications in New York City, including Real Simple, The Food Network, and Rachel Ray Every Day— outlets we know our Gen X and Y mom target audience looks to for culinary inspiration. The debut culminated with the roll-out of Pecan ThanksEverything Pie videos and animations across Facebook and Instagram, with paid promotion focusing on our core target.

SUPER DELICIOUS. SUPER VERSATILE.

Getting Involved

Like all of our national marketing campaigns, the Pecan ThanksEverything

Continued on Page 78

LEARN MORE AT AMERICANPECAN.COM

January 2020

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Continued from Page 77 Pie was made to work for industry, and we released a new suite of materials to help American Pecan growers and shellers in their own marketing efforts. Within the Industry Toolkit on AmericanPecan.com (americanpecan. com/for-industry/industry-toolkit/, password: pecans18), navigate to the Marketing Campaigns section. There, you’ll find an entire page dedicated to the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie with downloadable resources ready for use, including new printable recipe cards for dishes found in the pie, a flyer, and social media card to use on all of your channels. While some materials are pie specific, others, like the new recipe cards, work all year and season long for distribution at local markets, in your stores, or as a digital offering in your marketing emails. As American Pecans continues to

work in service to industry, we are also continually adding new social media images and videos for use throughout the year. Within the Industry Toolkit, navigate to the Social Assets section. There, you will find images and videos within campaign sections, as well as “General Social Assets” that work year-round. Each asset is high-res, and already sized to work well on social media. Simply save the image or video down on your phone or desktop, and post to any social channel you’d like. If you’d like assistance with this process, please reach out to the American Pecan Council office at industry@americanpecan.com, or via phone at (817) 916-0020.

What’s Next?

As we look to the beginning of a new year, we’re excited for the future ahead for American Pecans. The new year brings a renewed focus on health and wellbeing, and American Pecans will

take advantage of that cultural trend with an increased focus on the nutrition of The Original Supernut. As we continue to educate and engage with our target audience, introducing healthy options into her regular routine will continue to be a focus for our program and each new marketing campaign. To stay up to date with the latest from the American Pecan Council, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter, In a Nutshell. You can do so by heading to AmericanPecan.com and filling out the “Industry Registration” form. You can also choose to receive our print edition, arriving once per month. If you’d like assistance with registration, please reach out to the American Pecan Council office directly. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

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By KATHY COATNEY | Editor

I

n November of 2013, I was approached by Jason Scott, owner of JCS Marketing, Inc. to do some freelancing for a magazine I’d never heard of—West Coast Nut magazine. Little did I know this would be the beginning of something that would grow beyond my wildest imagination. Two years later, in September of 2015, I began editing West Coast Nut magazine. In those early months the magazine had 30 pages total. As the December 2019 issue is about to hit the newsstand, the magazine is almost 90 pages, and we have gone from a few thousand subscribers to almost 15,000. I was also on board when the first issue of Progressive Crop Consultant went live in June of 2016, and two years later, when Organic Farmer hit the stands in June of 2018. I’ve loved writing and editing for JCS Marketing, but I will be retiring from the editing position, and this is my last issue for all three magazines. Over my tenure as editor I’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous University of California Cooperative

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Goodbye

I’VE LOVED WRITING AND EDITING FOR JCS MARKETING, BUT I WILL BE RETIRING FROM THE EDITING POSITION, AND THIS IS MY LAST ISSUE FOR ALL THREE MAGAZINES.

Extension (UCCE) farm advisors support of farm advisors, freelancers and United States Department of and office staff. Agriculture (USDA) researchers who I’m pleased to announce Cecilia contributed their time and expertise Parsons will be taking over as managing that helped make the magazines floureditor for all three magazines. Cecilia ish. They were the lifeblood to getting started as a freelance writer and is the magazines established and still are, currently an associate editor. I know she and I couldn’t have done it without their will continue to produce quality magaassistance. zines and take them to the next level. I’ve also worked with very talented I’m not leaving completely as I will freelancers who worked tirelessly to still be doing freelancing when I’m not produce quality content, which also traveling or spending time with my made my job so much easier. grandchildren. Thank you all for your The staff at JCS Marketing is topnotch, hard work and dedication. I couldn’t and they have been there to assist me on have done it without you. this journey, from the office manager to the design staff. Thank you everyone. There is no question in my mind that these magaComments about this article? We want zines have become the ‘go to’ magazines to hear from you. Feel free to email us at for the industry because of the leaderarticle@jcsmarketinginc.com ship and vision of Jason Scott, and the

January 2020


40 Years of Farming Experience

The Foundation of your Fertilizer Program High Phos™ is a unique source of phosphorus with potassium and chelated iron designed for use in the soil. Phosphorus is required in high levels to supply the many energy requiring reactions in the metabolism of the plant. The polyphosphate is readily converted into usable forms and is soluble in the soil solution for uptake into the plant. The balanced formulation of essential nutrients contains organic and amino acids to stabilize the nutrients and facilitate their chelation, uptake, translocation and use.

• #1 choice for supplemental phosphorus • Enhance the phosphorous levels in your soil • Greater root growth and increased uptake of phosphorous • Growers use less and save valuable time and money due to the effectiveness of High Phos™ WRT Inc is a licensed distributor of Bio Si and Baicor products.

Contact Joseph Witzke: 209.720.8040 or Visit us online at www.wrtag.com

January 2020

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A WORD FROM THE BOARD: HAZELNUT MARKETING BOARD

SIX STEPS FOR SUCCESSFUL HAZELNUT ORCHARD WINTER MANAGEMENT

By HAZELNUT MARKETING BOARD

All photos courtesy of the Hazelnut Marketing Board.

W

inter has set in across the Willamette Valley and hazelnut pollinization is slowly beginning. As a rare winter pollinating tree, the coldest months of the year are imperative to the success of any hazelnut orchard. With the new year beginning, these six points of emphasis for the first 90 days of the year are integral to a healthy and productive hazelnut orchard.

helps channel the regrowth. A healthy pruning cut does not leave a stub, but it does leave the branch collar—the area at the base of every branch—intact. The branch collar contains specialized cells that serve to seal off a pruned branch and help prevent wood rot fungus. Furthermore, equipment should be cleaned often and branches that could be problematic in inclement weather should be attended to first.

Make Pruning a Priority

Focus on EFB, Aphids and Moss and Lichen Management

Proper pruning is a pillar of any successful longstanding hazelnut orchard. A wise hazelnut grower once said, “The best time to prune is when there are no nuts on the ground.” Pruning should take place throughout the winter months. Critically, pruning should not be done in or right after a rain event. Growers vary in their utilization of “heading” versus “thinning” when pruning; however, it is generally recommended to use thinning on mature trees. This style opens the tree up to sunlight penetration, which is necessary for nut set. Cuts should be made laterally across the branch, which

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Pest management is a year-round project for any grower. Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) remains an ever-present concern in the hazelnut world and diligence is key to minimizing its impact. As part of the pruning process, any limbs showing signs of EFB should be removed immediately. EFB spray treatments begin at the end of February and into March, depending on bud break and variety. New herbicides that can be applied prior to bud break are now available, and this application should take place from January to mid-February.

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While moss and lichen are not parasitic to hazelnut trees, they can cause significant limb breakage after heavy snow and ice buildup. Copper or lime sulfur sprays can reduce the moss in trees; a Bordeaux mixture is an effective method of treatment and can be mixed with EFB spray and applied simultaneously. In addition, monitoring of aphids in the buds is paramount during this time of year. These tiny insects feed on the trees and can impact hazelnut yields by nearly nine percent.

Consider Flailing

Flailing is a popular topic of discussion and university research. While not universally utilized, many growers advocate for winter flailing, which can be effective in maintaining a quality orchard floor and improving herbicide coverage in the spring. It helps to chop down surface vegetation, leaves and twigs. Flail vegetation growth to within one-quarter inch of the soil to minimize competition for moisture. In addition, postharvest flailing can mulch leaves and eliminate old nuts that attract rodents.


Finalize Soil Health Applications

Middle and late winter are ideal times to finish applying potash. Most soil health practices—such as spreading lime—should be completed earlier in the winter, shortly after harvest.

Minimize Stress on Youngest Trees

New trees can be more sensitive to certain products, so always consult a trusted advisor before applying any fertilizer, compost or chemical; steps taken to decrease stress on new trees will help them to become healthy adult trees. The training of young hazelnut trees should begin by heading the trees at a height of 30 to 36 inches. This allows scaffold branches to develop at a proper height; heading trees higher than 36 inches tends to make the young trees top heavy and susceptible to wind whipping. After the first growing season, the process of scaffold selection can begin. The goal is to select three-to-five scaffold branches evenly spaced around the tree; vertical distance between the branches is also optimal. Orchard managers should also avoid selecting two branches that are emerging from the trunk at the same height, as this would lead to weak branches later in the tree’s life. Once the scaffold is fully established, the trees can largely be left alone until they reach ten years of age and more corrective pruning can begin.

Prepare Soil for New Plantings

Completing a thorough soil test is a necessity when considering orchard expansions. It is easier to amend the soil prior to planting than it is once the trees are in the ground. The same philosophy goes for weeds, and a clean field from inception will pay dividends in the long run. Be sure the soil is well-drained and there is no standing water in the holes. Proper ground preparation is crucial, as cloddy soil could inhibit the trees with unwanted air pockets and cracks in the soil can lead to herbicide damage. Comments about this article? We want to hear from you. Feel free to email us at article@jcsmarketinginc.com

January 2020

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POWERFUL MARKETING DRIVES

POWERFUL SALES It’s true. When our TV campaign is on the air, visits to the California Walnuts website jump an incredible 500% or more! And our newly launched consumer campaign tested very highly with consumers, with 78% saying they would be more likely to purchase after seeing the ad. Research showed that our consumers are seeking simple solutions to make life easier and more manageable. The new spots feature humorous vignettes illustrating that modern life isn’t always easy. This effort will be supported by an unprecedented investment at retail, to remind consumers to add California walnuts to their shopping cart.

An Industry Working Together. At the California Walnut Board, we’re continually working for you to drive the awareness and sales volume of walnuts. To stay informed, sign up for our newsletter at walnuts.org, and stop by to say hi at the upcoming agricultural shows and California Walnut Conference.

walnuts.org/our-industry

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